On a few days each year, our network experiences peak demand - the period when electricity use is at its highest. In most cases, this peak occurs on hot days, and usually only for a few hours in the late afternoon or evening, when air-conditioners are being used.
One of the ways we manage demand is by upgrading our transformers and powerlines, to increase the overall capacity of our network. While this helps ensure a safe and reliable power supply during peak times, it also means that our network is operating well below capacity during off-peak times.
We’re continuously exploring and investing in a range of alternative options designed to reduce demand during peak times. We also use demand management technologies as alternative network investment options to replace aged assets and to expand our network to meet demand growth, all with the aim to improving cost and asset use efficiency in a reliable and sustainable way. Our Demand Side Engagement Strategy provides the framework for demand management providers to propose non-network solutions to AusNet Services when we are considering a network expansion.
The diagram below shows our innovative demand management options.
A large embedded generator is an electricity generation system that can be installed close to a substation to meet excess load requirements, particularly during times of peak demand. In most cases, these systems are gas engines with a maximum capacity of between 5 and 10 megawatts.
For more information, please read the Embedded Generation case study.
To learn about connection and registering with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), please visit our page on Embedded Generation Connections above 5MW.
A mobile electricity generation system can be connected anywhere in our network to reduce stress caused by overloads. In most cases, these systems are diesel engines with capacity of approximately 1 to 2 megawatts.
Customer demand response strategies encourage you to reduce your energy usage during peak periods, for your benefit and ours.
Ahead of peak demand periods, we work closely with our commercial and industrial customers to help reduce the risk of overload. For more information, please read our Commercial and Industrial Customer Demand Response case study.
We have also been expanding our engagement with residential customers over the summer period through our GoodGrid program. This program rewards residential customers in selected areas who reduce their power usage on very hot afternoons when requested, and provides them with information to help them learn how to manage their energy consumption. For more information, visit our GoodGrid page.
In future, control of smart home appliances will offer more options to manage peak demand.
Energy storage systems relieve load on our network by storing electricity during off-peak times and then releasing it during times of peak demand. For example, battery storage systems can range from small installations in the home, to larger commercial units providing more complex support functions.
For more information about energy storage, please read our case studies on the following topics:
Demand management is an important function being tested in the community mini grid trial at Mooroolbark. For more information about the trial, visit the Mooroolbark Mini Grid Project page.
For more information about these strategies, please visit our Critical Peak Demand Tariffs page.