Peak demand refers to the maximum demand customers place on an electricity network when many appliances are operated simultaneously. In Victoria, peak demand usually occurs for a few hours in the late afternoon and evening of a very hot summer day, when many houses and businesses are using air-conditioning. The electricity network has to be capable of supplying this high load, even though it only lasts for a few hours on a handful of days each year. This may require upsizing (augmentation) of transformers and lines to operate safely and reliably during these peak demand periods.
As peak demand happens only for a few hours on a few days each year, upsized or augmented network assets may be underutilised at other times. A more efficient and cost-effective solution can be to reduce peak demand through demand management techniques. By reducing peak demand on our network, demand management can help defer or avoid big investments in augmentation works.
There are many techniques to manage peak demand. For example, industrial or commercial customers can help AusNet Services to manage peak demand by way of reducing load and/or utilising back up generation facilities. In return, AusNet Services can offer to pay network support payments to these customers.
AusNet Services also deploys its own fleet of mobile generators and in some cases contracts with generators for network support services. AusNet Services has developed a special Critical Peak Demand tariff that provides an incentive for large customers to shift their use of electricity away from peak demand times.
New technologies such as battery storage and smart appliances offer further ways to manage peak demand in future.
In striving to operate our network as efficiently as possible, AusNet Services is committed to investigating and deploying demand side solutions where economic and feasible. 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 augmentation.
Click on the diagram for an enlarged overview of the options AusNet Services is using to manage peak demand across our network.
Demand Management Case Studies
- Embedded Generation
- Commercial & Industrial Customer Demand Response
- Grid Energy Storage System
- Electric Vehicle to Grid Trial
- Residential Battery Storage Trial
For more information contact us.