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Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
30 August 2021

Customer insights from ARENA's distributed energy portfolio

Welcome to the 30th edition of ARENA Insights - a newsletter dedicated to sharing knowledge and insights directly with industry.


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A wave of energy innovation at Alkimos Beach

The Solar and Storage Trial at the Alkimos Beach Residential Development is demonstrating an energy servicing model that connects household solar with a community-scale energy storage system.

Utilising energy storage technology at a residential community level makes this trial the first of its kind in Australia.

Watch a spotlight interview with Colin Smith, Synergy General Manager Customer Experience to hear about what makes this project unique, lessons from the trial and the role the community batteries will play in our energy future, and read their final report for more details.


Image: Houses at Alkimos Beach development

Watch the spotlight interview 

Read the full interview 

Read the final project report 


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Using data to engage and empower consumers

The My Energy Marketplace project, led by Wattwatchers Digital Energy, is exploring a data-driven model to empower consumers to become active participants in the digital-and-distributed energy system.


Halfway through, the project has deployed smart energy management solutions to households, small businesses and schools. Improved access to data helps consumers to save by cutting energy waste and using power at the best times. Schools can use the data to improve energy literacy among students, while also assisting with reducing energy bills.


Their latest report covers lessons learnt from deploying such solutions at consumer sites, including upfront and ongoing costs, installation of physical equipment, and considerations of consumer data rights.


Image: The Simble Energy App monitors, analyses and controls electrical circuits via Wattwatchers IoT supported hardware devices


Read the Lessons Learnt Report No. 3 


Behavioural science informs energy programs

The UPowr project is exploring how a deep understanding of customer values, motivations and cognitive processes can be used to shape the design and communication of battery orchestration programs.

By taking a customer focused approach, UPowr’s goal is to create battery orchestration programs that align with the values of different people – ultimately increasing interest in participating in a program when they purchase a battery.

The first of three Knowledge Sharing Reports, this report provides a detailed overview of the customer research and orchestration program design work completed as part of Phase 1 of the project.

Read the UPowr Report here 


Follow up! EV webinar notes and wrap up

On August 5, ARENA hosted an Insights Webinar on EV Ultra-Fast Charging. The webinar presented analysis undertaken on data gathered from our ultra-fast charging projects. This was followed by a panel presentation with representatives from ChargeFox and Evie Networks.


Watch the webinar and read the analysis here 


New to the Knowledge Bank

Bioenergy / Energy-from-waste
Microbiogen have produced a Life Cycle Assessment of ethanol production from bagasse using yeast strains. Their second report discusses the final phase in optimising a second-generation yeast biocatalyst that significantly improves the economics and sustainability of bioethanol fuel for transport and other applications.

Concentrated Solar Thermal
Two reports from RayGen’s thermal hydro system: one providing a technical overview; covering elements such as system layout, efficiency and costs, and the other providing a commercial overview; covering elements such as system operations and financial analysis.

Demand Response

Using a netowrk of swimming pools and running them more efficiently, Pooled Energy provides flexibility to help the grid accommodate more renewables, as well as indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions

This report presents the findings of Ausgrid’s Power2U two-year Demand Response program.

Distributed Energy Resources

This report provides an update on Solar Analytics’ Enhanced Reliability through Short Term Resolution Data around Voltage Disturbances project.

Electric Vehicles

This report presents early results from interviews conducted in late 2020 and early 2021 with the Realising Electric Vehicle-to-Grid (REVS) consortium, trial end-users, future private and fleets, and industry.


This report presents the findings of the Project GERI feasibility study including analysis from commercial, technical, logistics, regulatory, risk, compliance, environmental and planning work streams.

Renewables for Industry

This is the final report on Renewable Energy Hub’s Wholesale Renewable Energy Firming Marketplace Demonstration Project.

Solar PV R&D

This is the final knowledge sharing report on an investigation into the methods and benefits of different module cooling technologies.

This report details how the project helped remove roadblocks for the establishment of the SOURCE hydropanel industry. 

ACAP aims to significantly accelerate photovoltaic development by leveraging development of “over the horizon” photovoltaic technology, providing a pipeline of improved technology for increased performance and ongoing cost reduction.

This is the final knowledge sharing report for the project undertaken by Epho Commercial Solar. It discusses the project overview and outcomes, the market analysis and lessons learnt, tenant consumption savings, and the project’s relevance and knowledge gaps addressed.

This report discusses the project results and lessons learnt to date for the UNSW Project, Improving World-Record Commercial High-Efficiency n-type Solar Cells through Recombination Analysis & Innovative Passivation.

Wind Energy

The first and second lessons learnt report for Diffuse Energy’s Resilient Wind Energy for Telecommunications Sites Project are available. These reports discuss the lessons learnt and challenges faced resulting from COVID restrictions, projected outcomes and challenges faced.

Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
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