Network innovation

Not just poles and wires

As the owner and operator of electricity distribution networks, our role in supplying power to customers has evolved. While providing reliable, safe and affordable electricity supplies is still a priority, how we do it involves significant innovation in managing the increasingly complex and sophisticated system behind it.

Our role as a Distribution System Operator (DSO) expands on our traditional services and involves three main functions:

  1. Enabling all forms of distributed energy resources to be connected and to export their excess power into our networks, while also encouraging a shift in when power is used to optimise rewnewables.
  2. Facilitating participation in the electricity market by new trader services such as electricity aggregators. By signalling network conditions such as where there is capacity or constraint, we enable these third parties to trade and move electricity through our networks.
  3. Maintaining system security and network stability in coordination with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

To read more about the transformation of our business and how we’re supporting our customers as they invest in solar, batteries, electric vehicles and other technologies read the document below.

Documents and Resources

Top 10 ways to access a clean energy future

Our infrastructure now forms a crucial gateway to a clean energy future. By providing seamless access to our networks, we are generating new value for all customers. Below are the top 10 ways our customers can take part in the clean energy future by accessing our network to consume, store, and share electricity.

  1. Large-scale renewable energy connections: The region serviced by Powercor has some of the most prospective areas in the state for large-scale solar and wind farms and includes four of the six Renewable Energy Zones in Victoria. We work with projects ranging from 1MW to 150MW to connect them to our network and supply renewable energy to customers.
  2. Stand alone power systems/microgrid support: While we’re already involved in some trials, we expect more communities at the end of our network or in high bushfire risk areas will be interested in microgrids or similar projects which rely on community solar and batteries. While improving energy self-sufficiency, they still utilise our network to distribute power locally.
  3. Electric vehicle public charging infrastructure: The rollout of public charging services across the state is being supported with connections to our network for reliable power.
  4. Rooftop solar capacity: These popular systems allow homes, businesses and increasingly, apartment buildings, to generate and use their own renewable energy. We see around 15% growth each year in the number of customers choosing to install power.
  5. Rooftop solar exports: More than 90% of the households installing solar on their roof are able to export the excess energy not used in their home into our network. From there it can be shared with neighbours or stored in a battery for when it is needed to meet demand.
  6. Local battery storage: In the future, batteries will be common assets found on our network for energy storage. These could be ground-mounted community batteries supporting hundreds of customers or pole-top batteries servicing a couple of streets. They support reliability for these customers and help keep local solar in the community.
  7. Electric vehicles as generators: EVs are essentially batteries on wheels. In the future, there is a real opportunity for customers to export any power they don’t use into our network in the same way as they currently do with solar systems. ‘EV2G’ stands for ‘EV to Grid’ and when the EV is charged by solar power, it is another way of sharing renewable energy in our system. We are also focused on ensuring future EV uptake supports sustainability and affordability goals for customers.
  8. Household batteries as VPPs: Having a private battery is a way of storing excess solar from a rooftop system. It also opens an opportunity to participate in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Power exported by batteries into our network can be aggregated by a trader service and sold into the National Electricity Market.
  9. Manage energy demand: Customers have an important role in helping us to maintain network security by managing their energy demand. This could be peak demand in summer when everyone is using air conditioning or minimum demand in the middle of the day when there is too much energy coming into our system for what is being used.
  10. Optimise smart meters: More than 97% of our customers have advanced meter technology owned and managed by our networks. These make it easy to get accurate information about how much energy is being used in homes or properties. Our online services providing this information enable customers to make informed choices about new energy technologies, new electricity tariffs and energy efficiency opportunities.