Ausgrid is trialling Stand Alone Power Systems (known as SAPS) to;
Stand alone power systems operate independently of the grid and supply continuous power 24 hours a day, using a mix of solar and battery storage and backup generation.
It is a local solution that allows customers and the wider community to share in the multiple benefits that stand-alone power systems can provide. The Ausgrid Stand Alone Power Systems trial aims to show how;
cost savings to all customers could be achieved as a result of not having to repair and maintain remote parts of the distribution network.
In March 2021, Ausgrid surveyed customers in regional and remote parts of our distribution area to seek feedback and interest in an innovative trial to improve electricity supply and network resilience to extreme weather events. The survey results have assisted Ausgrid to complete further planning and to identify potential participants to take part in the initial phase of a Stand Alone Power Systems (SAPS) trial. Ausgrid’s SAPS trial will be developed as a local solution that will allow customers and the wider community to share in the multiple benefits that stand alone power systems can provide.
Ausgrid is selecting up to 10 landowners who live in hard to access or remote environments across the Central Coast and Hunter regions to participate in our initial SAPS trial.
The selection process included the assessment of responses to the survey distributed to approximately 2,500 Ausgrid customers. Their responses provided insights on the community’s perspectives on SAPS and information to identify suitable participants. The selection also included the assessment of customers who expressed their interest in participating and/or receiving information through our online SAPS trial register.
We are meeting with selected customers to provide more information about the trial and to further assess suitability to participate in the program. Ausgrid will then organise an energy audit with selected customers to better understand their energy consumption habits. After further engagement and planning, Ausgrid will then be able to finalise the participants for the initial SAPS trial.
The expected key benefits of introducing SAPS will be an improvement in resilience and reliability of supply for those customers in hard-to-reach areas and the reduction in cost of maintenance of the network. Other expected benefits will include a reduction in bushfire and safety risk when remote poles and wires are able to be removed. Also, where there are clusters of inhabitants, these systems could be expanded into a micro-grid. This trial is a first step and if successful will inform a potential larger trial.
Engagement is more than just sharing information. By engaging with the community, Ausgrid works in good faith to communicate openly and clearly to ensure people are informed about our activities and decisions. Wherever possible, the engagement process provides opportunities to involve people in the decisions that affect them.
Ausgrid is engaging with customers to develop a Customer Engagement Strategy for deployment of Regulated Stand-alone Power systems in line with the National Electricity Rules; and will employ best practice engagement principles for network maintenance and installation, including SAPS.
Ausgrid has been working with Energy Networks Australia (ENA) to develop guidelines for designing, engaging, installing, commissioning, operating and maintaining SAPS. This provides specific guidelines on customer engagement which covers, benefits from transitioning to SAPS, customer identification process and customer engagement process.
As we develop our own engagement framework for SAPS, we will reference the ENA guidelines. Our new SAPs engagement guideline will be published on this page.
Have another question? Email Ausgrid Innovation Program on firstname.lastname@example.org.