Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has become the first council in Queensland to join a trial to optimise electricity use and ultimately save money for ratepayers.
“The agreement with Yurika, part of the Energy Queensland group of companies, sees TRC as the first council subscriber to the Virtual Power Plant,” Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“The Yurika Virtual Power Plant has been developed specifically to optimise customers’ energy usage to lower costs and ultimately lower energy prices across the market.
“Reducing electricity usage at peak times makes good sense for the council and for ratepayers,’’ Dr Lynham said.
TRC Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield said council had signed an agreement that incorporates 11 of the council’s largest electricity demand sites on the water network including dams and major pumping stations.
“This automated system; a cloud-based load control system will enable Yurika, in collaboration with their customers, to curtail supply required during peak energy demand events," Cr Sommerfield said.
“The financial benefit of this partnership means that during a time of high demand, council’s assets can be switched off, supporting the council to reduce its energy bill and share potential savings gained by a reduction of demand.
“The other important benefit is the opportunity to use Yurika’s VPP to reduce the load during peak times, therefore lowering the risk of black-outs or brown outs on the general network.
“The need to pump water long distances and uphill for our water supply means that Council is a large electricity user.
“Council is always looking at ways to reduce costs to the ratepayer. Through this innovative contract, we saw the opportunity to cut costs without reducing services."
Executive General Manager for Yurika, Charles Rattray, said he was very happy with the arrangement, which would be of enormous benefit to people in Toowoomba and surrounding areas.
“Yurika is very proud of the work its partners such as TRC have done to support their community.
“We are excited to have TRC as our first council subscriber to the Yurika Virtual Power Plant and encourage all regions to take their lead to support lower cost overall for ratepayers, “Mr Rattray said.
Caption: Ergon Darling Downs manager Matt Pearson (left), Yurika Energy general manager (Go to Market) Huda Olsson, Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio, Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield and Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham at the announcement of TRC’s trial to become the first Queensland local government to subscribe to a Yurika Virtual Power Plant that will save money for ratepayers.
Dr Lynham’s Office David Potter 0428 411 617
Toowoomba Regional Council 0409 636 824
Yurika 3664 5191