Knowledge Base

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AGL’s Virtual Power Plant is open to eligible metropolitan Adelaide homeowners who meet the following criteria:   Own an appropriately sized solar system or want to go solar. Own your own home. Currently generate more solar energy than you’re using in your home. Are an existing AGL electricity customer or want to make the switch. Live in an eligible suburb of metropolitan Adelaide. Are not currently on a government  solar bonus scheme feed-in tariff. If your home generates sufficient excess solar energy you could benefit from participating in AGL’s Virtual Power Plant, by using more of the solar energy you produce.   If you are currently on a government solar bonus scheme feed-in tariff, installing a battery will affect your eligibility to access that scheme. You should consider your own personal circumstances when deciding whether to purchase a battery as part of this Virtual Power Plant offer.   You must be an existing AGL electricity customer or wanting to make the switch to participate in this offer and remain with AGL for your electricity for the term of the agreement. If you’re currently with another electricity retailer, one of our friendly AGL customer representatives can help you make the switch.   Register your interest in the next stage of the Virtual Power Plant demonstration project and an AGL solar and battery expert will be in touch to discuss the program and your eligibility to join.
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A virtual power plant put simply is a collection of individual batteries that are managed in unison to help power customers’ homes and support the grid.   The battery installed in your home stores excess solar energy produced by your system. This can help you to use more of your own solar energy and less from the grid. Any energy discharged from the battery will be used by the home first, with any additional energy then exported to the grid, allowing you to receive your standard Retail Feed-in Tariff (RFiT).   In some instances, AGL’s Virtual Power Plant uses the solar energy stored in individual home batteries to help support the electricity grid during peak usage times, helping you to use solar energy within your home while helping to increase grid stability for the community.  
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Yes. AGL is pioneering virtual power plant technology as part of our demonstration project, with 1,000 battery installations being rolled out in metropolitan Adelaide.   This offer is currently only available in eligible suburbs in metropolitan Adelaide.   In the future, innovative ways of producing, storing and sharing energy via a virtual power plant model may become available to consumers in other states. If you don’t currently meet the geographic eligibility criteria for AGL’s virtual power plant but want to start enjoying the benefits of battery technology, speak to one of our energy storage experts to register your interest – call 1300 760 034.   You can also sign up to receive updates on solar energy storage offers and promotions. Simply visit our Energy Storage page, and register your interest to join the AGL Power Advantage Club by submitting your details at the bottom of the page.
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AGL’s Virtual Power Plant makes battery technology more affordable than ever by providing leading energy storage systems at heavily subsidised prices.   The batteries being offered as part of the program are designed to store excess solar power that would otherwise be exported to the grid, and discharge it into your home at night, to avoid the need to buy electricity from the grid or to support the gird in times of grid instability or peak demand. By doing so, this can help to reduce customers electricity bills and assist the grid.   Individual electricity bill savings will vary, depending on energy usage, seasonality, solar system performance, and battery performance. Speak to an AGL solar and battery expert to learn more about whether an AGL Virtual Power Plant battery could help you save.
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Yes. We’ll need your home to stay connected to the electricity grid to be a part of the virtual power plant.
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We all know renewable energy is the way forward. And if you want to do your bit for the environment as well as your wallet, talking to AGL about installing solar could be the answer, because of many benefits.   How does solar energy work?    Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels (PV panels), convert sunlight into energy. This energy is then converted into electricity using an inverter. The electricity either powers your home energy needs or can be fed back into the grid.   How solar can reduce your energy bills   Installing solar energy can help reduce your energy bills in two key ways:   You’re generating power yourself, therefore you’re reducing the amount of power you need to buy off the grid. You could be entitled to a tariff for any excess power you sell back to the grid.   The key environmental benefits of solar   AGL uses solar panels which are high quality, efficient and long lasting.   Any energy used to manufacture or install the system is typically paid back many times over with the energy it produces over its lifetime.   And, once installed, solar energy does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions.   The costs of solar energy   There is an initial outlay to install solar energy (either electricity or hot water). However, you may find these establishment costs are covered by the savings you make over time in energy costs.<   If you pay for the solar system upfront, you can start saving immediately. If you don’t have the finances to pay upfront, AGL offers flexible finance to make it easier to enjoy solar.   And, depending on where you live, if you feed excess electricity back into the grid you could be entitled to a credit.   There are also government incentives available for installing renewable energy like solar, including the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).   AGL is Australia’s largest non-government owner and operator of renewable energy assets. And when it comes to solar energy we don’t believe one size fits all. We provide expert advice and tailor solar solutions specifically for you that take into account your particular property, energy consumption and your budget.   Visit our solar energy page to find out how we can tailor a solar solution for your property or to enquire about a free quote. Or, you can always call us on 1300 377 118.    
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Your battery will come shipped with intelligent energy management software inbuilt and ready to go, to make sure your solar is working hard for you. We use digital technology, developed by Sunverge Energy, to help us intelligently manage your battery. Most of the time, your battery will discharge power to your home so you don’t need to draw energy from the grid. Occasionally, your battery will discharge power to your home or directly to the grid when there is high demand or instability in the grid. Usually this will happen at a time when your battery would be discharging anyway. You will receive your standard Retail Feed-in Tariff (RFiT) when solar energy stored in the battery is exported to the grid.
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The agreement to participate in the Virtual Power Plant is for a 5 year period. While participating in the Virtual Power Plant, you must remain an AGL electricity customer. At the end of the 5 year period the agreement automatically expires. For customers who have had a battery installed already and are taking advantage of our upgrade program, the 5 year term does not reset upon installation of the new battery.   Unlike some other virtual power plant programs, you own the battery and/or solar system installed in your home during and after your participation in the program.   By participating in the Virtual Power Plant demonstration project you will have a battery installed at a heavily subsidised price. If you choose to exit the agreement before the scheduled end date, you will be required to pay an early termination fee. The fee is capped at $5,000 and reduces over the 5 year term. This early termination fee is listed in the terms and conditions provided with your quote.   If you move to a new house, AGL may agree to transfer your contract to be part of the Virtual Power Plant program to the new owner.
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AGL will lead an innovative renewable investment funding vehicle to develop new large-scale renewable generation projects, entitled the 'Powering Australian Renewables Fund'.   AGL proposes to seed the new fund with its solar projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill (155 MW), as well as taking a cornerstone equity stake.   The new vehicle is expected to develop over 1,000 MW of renewable generation at a cost of between $2 to $3 billion, and;will build enough green generation for more than 400,000 homes.  
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Solar Command Check is a daily update, based on your home’s smart meter data for the previous 30 days, to let you know if your system is producing solar energy or if we think there might be a problem. To do this we estimate your solar energy production, compare it against expected production for a system of your size, age, location, and provide an indication of its performance.   This is only an estimate due to the limited amount of information we have about your system.   Solar Command is a real time solar monitoring subscription service. It remotely monitors your system’s energy production and household energy consumption, calculates your estimated savings, shows how much solar or grid energy you used, and provides this all via a personalised dashboard. If you subscribe to Solar Command, AGL installs a device on your switchboard to read and record the data required to provide you with this insight.   Details about Solar Command can be found here.
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Solar Command is a physical monitoring product attached to your meter board, and a subscription to AGL’s Solar Command digital monitoring portal.
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Solar Command will send you an automatic fault alert if your system has turned off, or is no longer communicating. Speak to an AGL Solar Command expert on 1300 356 363 to help get your system back up and running.
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Solar Command Check is available to eligible customers via My Account.   To be eligible you must: Be an AGL customer Have a solar system installed at your premise but no battery Have a smart meter with a minimum 30+ days of data from that smart meter Not already be a Solar Command user.   When signing up for Solar Command Check you will need to provide details about your solar system size, number of panels and year of installation.   My Account is AGL’s online portal for the management of your energy account – you can view and pay your bill, track energy use and update your details. If you are not already signed up to My Account you can do that here.
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The Broken Hill Solar plant in Broken Hill, NSW, is one of two AGL solar plants, the second located in Nyngan (also in NSW).   The Broken Hill Solar Plant has a capacity of 53 MW and is the second largest in Australia behind its sister plant in Nygan. It will produce enough renewable energy to power more than 17,000 homes annually.   It features 677,760 solar PV modules (panels) and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 105,840 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum, assuming a rate of 0.84 tonnes per MWh of electricity. This is roughly equivalent to removing approximately 29,000 cars from the road.   The Nyngan and Broken Hill Solar Plants have been constructed with $166.7 million funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $64.9 million from the NSW Government. Both plants have been constructed in partnership with First Solar, local councils, and local communities.     You can find more information about the solar plant here.
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If you already have a solar system, total installation and setup takes approximately 1.5 hours. If you’re having a new solar system installed, it will take approximately 2-3 hours to install your solar system and Solar Command hardware, depending on the complexity of your site including whether it is double story or has limited access.
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No. We can fit Solar Command to AGL or non-AGL solar systems!
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  In order to maximise savings from a battery, you will need to have enough excess solar to charge the battery each day and enough energy consumption to discharge it each day.   AGL offers a range of sizes to choose from and our AGL’s battery experts will be able to help you determine the best solution for your needs – give them a call on 1300 760 034 (8.30am – 5.30pm AEST Mon to Fri).
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Yes. Solar Command installation and hardware is included in the cost of subscription.
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The current generation of solar batteries cannot completely power an average home in all circumstances, however the right battery from AGL can greatly decrease your reliance on energy from the grid. We’ll work with you to determine the best option for your home and tailor a solution that fits.
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Yes. If you have an existing solar system installed, an accredited AGL installer will make an appointment with you to install your AGL Solar Command hardware.   If you’re having a new AGL solar system installed, an accredited AGL installer will complete both your Solar Command and solar system installation at the same time, making installation hassle-free.
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