Australia is set to become the first country in the world to offer its citizens a chance to participate in a program utilizing a network of “virtual” power stations.
The Distributed Energy Exchange (deX) will create an open marketplace for the value of energy generated by solar panels and stored in battery packs to be traded between consumers, businesses, communities and network utilities.
The project is funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and led by energy tech startup GreenSync. According to a press release issued by the company, “Fundamentally, deX creates a new energy ecosystem, shifting the Australian energy market from a centralized to a decentralized model — transforming the way electricity grids are used.”
Storing energy during periods of low usage will give the grid the ability to cope with surges in demand; virtually combining many small units into a large battery. The new smart grid may also help Australia avoid the frequent power outages which occur during heatwaves.
The network utilizes an innovative system of communication developed by Reposit Power which controls the home-based battery and links it to the exchange, then automatically sends power where it is needed. The owner is then compensated accordingly.
The virtual network makes use of existing infrastructure, eliminating the need for new, coal-fired power plants.
Dr. Phil Blythe, Founder and CEO of GreenSync, said, “GreenSync is incredibly proud to be driving this momentous project with some of the best energy minds in Australia. We are on the cusp of a profound shift in the electricity market and a turning point in Australia’s energy future.”