AGL Energy has begun operating the first phase its “virtual power plant”, which will ultimately be made up of 1,000 connected batteries in homes across Adelaide.

The first phase has more than 300 kilowatts of battery capacity, with more than 200 kilowatts of associated solar capacity. This gives it a peak output of more than half a megawatt. This phase comprises more than 60 batteries in homes across Adelaide linked by  cloud-based smart software provided by Sunverge – already making it the largest virtual power plant in Australia..

When completed, the virtual power plant will have 7 megawatt-hours of storage capacity and a peaking capacity of 5 megawatts, making it the largest in the world. It is anticipated installation of all 1,000 batteries will be completed by the second half of 2018.

AGL estimates customers in the virtual power plant trial will save around $500 a year on their energy bill in addition to having received a battery which was heavily subsidised by AGL.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency, is providing up to $5 million funding to support the $20 million project.