Virtual power plant launched at WA school


Tuesday, 31 August, 2021

Virtual power plant launched at WA school

The WA Government has expanded its Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot program, with Kalgoorlie-Boulder High School launching its first VPP.

A VPP is a network of energy resources such as rooftop solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles that are combined or 'aggregated' and shared with an energy retailer, such as Synergy.

Three Kalgoorlie-Boulder schools, and a further three from Geraldton, will be selected by Synergy to take part in the expanded VPP project following completion of an analysis and assessment process later this year.

The additional government funding brings the total investment in the Schools VPP pilot project to $8.8 million, with 16 schools now set to be transformed into smart, green power plants.

Battery installation at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, one of the first schools included in the project, is now complete with its power plant expected to be operational by late 2021.

"We want students in Western Australia to embrace science and new technologies," said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery.

"Turning schools into virtual power plants gives students a practical look at how energy is generated in a sustainable way.

"The skills learned in this program will help set students up for the jobs of the future."

The Schools VPP pilot tests how a VPP can help a school better understand and manage its energy use, as well as improve the stability and reliability of the electricity grid.

Learning opportunities related to STEM education are also being developed as part of the pilot in collaboration with teachers and education providers, as we inspire the next generation in a transforming energy world.

This STEM learning experience will be focused on equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to explore new possibilities for WA's energy future.

This initiative is part of the state government's Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap.

For more information, visit https://www.synergy.net.au/Our-energy/For-you/Virtual-Power-Plant.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/beovule

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