Publication Details

B. Banfield, P. Ciufo & D. A. Robinson, "The technical and economic benefits of utility sponsored renewable energy integration," in 2017 Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC), 2017, pp. 1-6.


In recent years, Australian energy consumers have begun to install large amounts of distributed generation (DG), particularly residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. This rapid increase in DG, has led to the flow of power throughout low voltage (LV) networks to become bidirectional. This reverse power flow, along with the intermittent nature of solar PV and the inability for distribution network service providers (DNSPs) to control where this DG is installed, has led to voltage regulation issues throughout LV networks. Along with solar PV, energy storage (ES) is also becoming more prevalent among energy consumers. The combination of solar PV and ES allows customers to become more energy independent, relying less on utilising energy from the grid. This poses a major risk to DNSPs who rely on the income generated from customers based on kWh sales to build and maintain network infrastructure. This paper presents a coordinated reactive power control scheme to reduce voltage rise along LV distribution feeders with high penetrations of solar PV. The value of privately investing in solar PV and ES for the years 2015 and 2020 from the perspective of an average residential customer is determined. Finally, a business model is proposed outlining how utility sponsored residential solar PV and ES could be implemented by a DNSP. The business model is then evaluated from a technical and economic standpoint.



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