Origin Virtual Power Plant experiences?

Has anyone had experience with this? I've only heard about it the other day, based in QLD. We have a 4kw solar system, 5 years old, came with property we bought.
The deal is basically we get a 6.5 kWh battery for $6500 from origin, $20 credit per month and origin can access the battery for up to 200kwh a year. Some quick math, I will have a paid off battery in 5 years (interest free) for $108 a month. Energy cost will be close to zero, currently around $200 per quarter (all electric, no gas, 2 person household, consumption covered during the day by solar, 6.5 kWh will bring us over the rest of the day). If we need to buy a bit of power because production is low or origin taps into the battery the $20 credit will cover 100kwh a month.

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  • So for first five years, you will pay $324 a quarter to pay off battery, and best case scenario is you use less than 6kWh (charge/discharge efficiency will be less than 100%) over night each night to bring your bill down to virtually zero? Aren't you going to be $64 per quarter, or $1280 worse off in five years?

    I'm unsure how they can access 200kWh a year will work with you using it at night? I'm guessing they will drain your battery during peak hour night time to meet demand? Not sure.

    $20 credit will cover 100kWh a month.

    That's cheap at 20c/kWh. Do you still have to pay daily supply charges? Do you still get feed in tariff?

    What's the size of your inverter, btw?

  • Yes, I'm paying definetely more per quarter, but again, I will have a paid off battery with no control from origin after 5 years with 5 years warranty left on it. I am assuming I will still have to pay daily supply fee and still get feed-in tariff, good points that I will ask them next time, thanks.
    As I understand but, they only drain small amount of power from the battery during peak demand times to balance the grid, 200 kWh per year is really nothing and the credit will compensate for that (also for the supply charge now that I think about it). Not 100% sure about inverter capacity, assuming 3.7kW or so.

  • +1

    Australians continue to literally build the power generation facilities with an arrangement to be ripped off for electricity by a retailer.


    • Well it's hard to go off-grid in the city but it is technically doable.

      You could use a Sunny Island and a large battery bank with a generator in emergencies.

  • +2

    I am on the Origin VPP. You get a 20c/kwh feed in tariff for the first 2 years. Us oldschool people got a $300 credit after the first year, and then still get $20 per month.

    Because of our distributor time-of-use pricing is mandatory. Peak is currently around 33c/kwh and off peak is 18c.

    Because of that I have programmed my battery to always top up at night (when I pay 18c/kwh) and then during the day my system feeds in at 20c/kwh meaning at the very minimum I make 2c/kwh on the power I have "banked" overnight if it's a sunny day. (As I'm not using grid power then).

    You are entitled to a 20c/kwh FIT for the first 2 years on the Origin Solar Boost Plus plan.

    If I do happen to need power for whatever reason (rainy day etc) it comes out of the battery first given that it's always at 100%.

    With regards to the VPP, they have discharged the battery maybe twice the whole time. So I wouldn't care. Also, any power they discharge from your battery is paid at the full retail rate (for example 33c/kwh peak)

    I haven't had a bill in nearly a year. I got the loan and the grant making my cost for the system less than 8 grand for a 10kwh battery.

    • When did you join VPP? Less than a year ago?

      • More than a year ago.

    • What's your solar power system size? Would OP's five year old 4kw system worth it you reckon?

      • +1

        5kw size maximum allowed in my area. The price included the panels 375w if I remember

        4kw would still be fine I reckon you could charge a 10kwh battery in 3 hours on a good day.

        6.5 is the smallest they offer and cheapest. Depends on how much power you use, but also remember that it’s not the full capacity of the battery and the available capacity degrades with time

        Also I specced a SMA inverter system. So none of the sungrow etc. I wanted a good quality German system

        Also to clarify the 20c fit for 2 years is if origin installs your panels I think. Basically I just wanted a massive company that would be around for the full warranty period if anything went wrong

    • was 8 grand just for the battery? or solar panels aswell?

      • That would just the battery, those things are expensive. Would prefer a bigger one, will check out if they offer it. Or just wait another year or two for prices to come down a bit more. What really puts me off is that Origin offers the 6.5 battery including installation and additional hybrid inverter for 10k minus 3.5k subsidies. If I look up the LG 6.5kw model, you can get it for 6.5k retail…not so keen on another inverter…if I go solo without origin a could get an AC coupler with smaller footprint.

        • oh i see thanks

          just curious can your 4kw solar system able to fill say a 10kWh battery?

          • @Triton: Absolutely, we are producing over 20kwh per day at the moment, in winter it's closer to 15kwh. System is facing north

            • @Pascal: oh i see thanks

              say you have the battery, can you then go "off the grid" completely and not have to pay supply charges anymore?

  • Well the feed in tariffs have come down quite a bit since then. I am getting 5c with my current tariff but rates are lower than yours, 19c/15c. They have plans with higher feed in around 10c, but still makes no sense for me to export with feed in that low. I will ask for larger capacity batteries, 6.5 kWh is a bit low, I think.

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