Skip to main content

Robust technology will eliminate solar PV connection refusals across more than 34 microgrids in regional Western Australia

Aerial view over the town of Carnarvon and the Gascoyne River in Western Australia.

PXiSE’s DERMS will help decrease reliance on fossil fuel generation

Deployment of PXiSE’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) progresses across regional community microgrids in Western Australia (WA) to aid utility partner Horizon Power with its objective of zero refusals for customer-connected solar PV.

WA’s regional energy provider, Horizon Power, was the first Australian utility to deploy DERMS in a regional microgrid, using it to coordinate customer solar with utility-owned renewables to help power the town of Onslow. A recent announcement from the Minister of Energy; Environment; Climate Action for WA unveils that the coastal town of Carnarvon is now the second to benefit from the technology that expands solar access for customers. Horizon Power plans to complete expansion to other towns by the end of 2024.

“We are thrilled to see the potential that is being unlocked through Australia with our PXiSE DERMS. The pilot in Onslow proved the technology works to maintain a stable microgrid even in the face of 100% renewables,” said Tim Allen, PXiSE CEO, “we can’t wait to see this deployed in additional communities so they can confidently begin weaning themselves off fossil fuels.”

PXiSE’s technology enabled more than four times the amount of rooftop solar to be integrated into Onslow’s local network compared to what the original network capacity was prior to the technology being installed.

Horizon Power’s Executive General Manager of Technology & Digital Transformation, Ray Achemedei, said Horizon Power is leading the industry to make it easier to install rooftop solar and provide a pathway to decarbonized energy systems.

“With approximately 60% of Horizon Power’s energy systems currently dealing with limits on rooftop solar, deploying a DERMS will increase solar access for our customers, lower their energy bills, and help reduce emissions,” said Mr. Achemedei.

The PXiSE DERMS helps utilities control the increase in renewable energy assets, batteries and electric vehicles by coordinating both front-of-the-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) distributed energy resources (DERs) alongside traditional grid components on a single network. It does this through an integrated software platform that controls the dynamic two-way flow of energy by simultaneously balancing resource, load, demand, and network constraints while enabling a 100% renewable grid.

Using the IEEE 2030.5 standard communication protocol over the internet, the PXiSE DERMS securely leverages customer DERs to provide reactive power support and offers highly customizable business rules related to curtailments.

Additionally, PXiSE’s patented demand forecasting feature continuously analyzes historical demand and weather data to derive an operating plan for anticipated demand. It then recalibrates the operating plan through autonomous optimizations that maximize renewable generation, cost savings, and system efficiency. Because the sophisticated software is network aware, its optimization algorithms consider voltage and capacity limits, topology, and energy resource characteristics to ensure the system converges to an optimal solution rather than merely the fastest or easiest to initialize.

> Read more: “Solar access boosted in Carnarvon with Smart Connect Solar