Does the Finkel report offer the chance for Australian Councils to foster microgrids of local households into becoming Virtual Power Plants? – 20th June 2017

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Letter to the Editor
Southern Courier

Coalition Government backbench melts down over Finkel recommendations but there’s hope at the local NSW Council level if Malcom Turnbull is game.

Reception of last week’s release of the Finkel report into power and energy issues has not gone well. Malcolm Turnbull’s backbench of fossil fuel loyalists have melted down over the suggested Clean Energy Target.

But stepping away from this dismal picture of Federal self-strangulation I did find one Finkel recommendation offering a way forward at the local Council level.

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AGL claims that it has formed the “world’s largest residential virtual power Plant (VPP)” out of interconnected residential roof tops in suburban Adelaide

Recommendation 6.9  By mid-2018, the COAG Energy Council should direct the Australian Energy Market Commission to undertake a review of the regulation of individual power systems and microgrids so that these systems can be used where it is efficient to do so while retaining appropriate consumer protections.” (Finkel report blueprint)

A “microgrid” of connected streets of domestic roof top solar arrays is what the Germans call a “Virtual Power Plant”.

If recommendation 6.9 is taken up Randwick Council could organise our residents into local cooperatives capable of selling their own rooftop power back into the NSW electricity grid.

Oh … yeah right … I forgot about Turnbull’s back bench Luddites. But surely he could sneak just one little recommendation past them for one of his own local Council’s?

Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson@murraymatson

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