Melbourne energy company wins innovation award
South Street Energy has been recognised for its Distributed Generation Network in the 2022 Victorian iAwards, taking home the ‘The Biggest Pitch’ award in the Sustainability and Environmental Solution for the Year category.
The Brunswick-based energy company’s solution enables owners of solar, wind and biogas generation systems to sell their renewable electricity to the wholesale electricity market.
“I am very proud that this award recognises South Street Energy’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the hard work of our amazing team,” said South Street Energy Managing Director Marco Bogaers.
The program can benefit the National Energy Market (NEM) as it means that small electricity producers — entities that include businesses, farms and local councils — can send their electricity to the network when demand is high, thus helping reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and to self-consume this power at other times.
“This is more than a technical solution, we’ve pulled together existing industry processes to create an entirely new way to participate in the market,” Bogaers said.
For example, Orange City Council’s solar installations at its aquatic centre (200 kW), civic centre (88 kW), and local airport (100 kW) were installed in late 2021 and immediately added to the South Street Energy’s Distributed Generation Network.
Since 1 January 2022 those systems have produced 252 MWh of electricity, of which 41% was sold to the NEM, increasing the value of the renewable electricity by 6.2% per kWh from 12.9 to 19.1 cents and netting an additional $15,460.
Chief Executive Officer of Orange City Council David Waddell said: “This is the sort of simple, innovative approach Orange City Council has been after and it is a huge win, insulating council against pricing fluctuations. Services such as this encourage the take-up of more renewables and demystify things nicely. It’s a pleasure to work with the team at South Street Energy.”
Bogaers says the South Street Energy solution ensures that renewable energy is sold into the market that is paying the highest price, increasing the value of renewable electricity.
“This has helped our customers weather the recent negative impacts of high electricity prices, and it fits directly into the Australian Government’s Powering Australia Plan to lift the share of renewables in the National Electricity Market to 82% by 2030,” Bogaers said.
“This benefits everyone. It helps the owners of individual systems by providing a new and additional form of revenue, it helps the community by providing further financial incentives for the take-up of renewables and it helps the National Electricity Market by providing a demonstrable mechanism for participation by small-scale, renewable generators.”
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