In your Community

Stand Alone Power Systems


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What is a Stand Alone Power System?

Ausgrid is trialling Stand Alone Power Systems (known as SAPS) to;

  1. Deliver cost savings for all customers
  2. Provide a safer network for customers and our work force
  3. Test reliability improvements for remote customers
  4. Support the transition to renewable energy.
The Stand Alone Power Systems will be trialled initially in the Central Coast and Hunter regions. Over the next two years, Ausgrid will offer targeted landowners in the identified trial areas, who live in hard to access or remote environments and where the supply of electricity is likely to be more efficient via a Stand Alone Power System, the chance to be part of this innovative program.

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;

  • the installation of a SAPS could improve reliability and resilience during extreme weather events for identified participants 
  • cost savings to all customers could be achieved as a result of not having to repair and maintain remote parts of the distribution network. 

Preliminary Research

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. 

Survey summary report 


Highlights from the survey

  • Improved reliability was the main reason for interest in the trial
  • Weather events such as storms and bushfires were identified as the main reason for causing issues with supply reliability and around half of those surveyed thought impacts from storms and bushfires will increase over time
  • There was a very high level of interest in finding out more about the SAPS trial, with almost half rating their interest as 10 out of 10
  • Those who are most interested in SAPS value the fact they will have a reliable supply and can be grid independent. Around two-thirds surveyed had already thought about or researched going “off-grid”
  • Around half of those surveyed felt completely comfortable (10 out of 10) with a network company providing a SAPS solution compared to their retailer (21%) or a private company (16%) 

SAPS Trial Update

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.

What are the benefits?

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. 

Community and Customer Engagement 

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.

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