Flexibility and dispatchability are key requirements for a future Zero Emissions electricity grid. Buildings are capable of providing significant generation and consumption flexibility, at little to no cost. But how can we use digital infrastructure to unlock and characterise this energy flexibility to support Australia’s energy transition?

Energy flexibility

Property owners have various behind-the-meter assets, capable of shifting part of their daily energy consumption. This flexibility is key to synchronising energy consumption with renewable energy generation. Specifically, some of these assets capable of flexible demand within commercial and industrial buildings include:

  • Electric vehicles
  • Hot and cold thermal storage
  • Batteries
  • Heating ventilation and air conditioning

These ‘flexible demand resources’ are able to reduce carbon emissions, reduce cost and open new revenue streams as paid for within the electricity industry. Additionally, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) forecasts that, by 2050, 75% of all dispatchable resource capacity in the National Electricity Market will come from distributed storage and coordinated virtual power plants (VPPs). However, additional research and industry development is vital for realising this vision of a future reliable, affordable, and clean electricity system.

NSW Digital Infrastructure for Energy Flexibility

CSIRO’s NSW Digital Infrastructure Energy Flexibility (DIEF) project aims to provide industry and researchers with digital-grid infrastructure, to aggregate flexible demand resources. These services will help the property industry reduce emissions by synchronising demand with the availability of variable renewable energy generation.

The NSW DIEF project includes a consortium of NSW-based industry and research organisations, led by CSIRO.

This project is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with CSIRO, under the Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030.

The project will connect 5MW of flexible capacity from over 200 NSW-based Commercial and Industrial buildings, hosted on CSIRO’s Data Clearing House (DCH) digital infrastructure platform. Energy flexibility from the flexible demand resources will be characterised and registered as deployable assets. Buildings will gain access to smart building features and services within the DCH digital infrastructure. As a result, this will enable connected buildings to extract valuable insights from building data.

Get involved

Expressions of interest are welcome for NSW-based commercial and industrial building controllers interested in accessing the data management and flexibility services available within this project. If a building is chosen, the relevant connecting partner will provide free data hosting on the DCH platform through to June 2026.

Buildings participating will have access to the capability of the platform, subject to third party requirements, along with access to a growing number of services and datasets within the platform.

Onboarded buildings participating in the project will consent to providing de-identified data, to enable the partners to host artificial intelligence competitions and conduct research to support the broader industry pathway to zero emissions.

Find out more information here.

Page last updated 22 July 2024