Octopus to deploy Fluence’s automated bidder software for Australian solar farm

By Charlie Duffield
The 333MW Darlington Point solar farm in Australia, owned by Octopus Investments. Image: Octopus Investments.

Octopus Investments Australia has deployed Fluence’s AI-powered trading platform to optimise the output of its 333MW Darlington Point Solar Farm in New South Wales (NSW).

Darlington Point is currently the nation’s largest operational solar power project in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), and Octopus Investments will use Fluence’s trading platform to help secure the best possible price for power that is exported to Australia’s grid.

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Octopus managing director Sam Reynolds said: “As proud owners of renewable energy assets, we are always striving to find innovative solutions that will improve asset performance for our investors. Solutions like this will help maximise revenue and investor returns by reducing price volatility, minimising costs and mitigating constraints.”

Australia’s NEM is in the midst of a transition towards deriving more power from renewable sources whilst also accelerating the timing of legacy power plant retirements.

Later this year, the NEM will shift to five-minute settlement periods where the market will be both dispatched and settled at five-minute intervals, requiring renewable energy assets to possess extremely accurate price forecasting capabilities to navigate an increasingly volatile market.

Fluence’s trading platform works by analysing thousands of variables to provide leading price forecasting and optimisation, using proprietary machine learning algorithms, enabling renewable asset owners such as Octopus Investments to optimise bidding and dispatch.

The resulting market-compliant bids can increase revenue for wind and solar asset owners by up to 10% over a 12-month period, Fluence claimed.

Seyed Madaeni, chief digital officer of Fluence, said: “The deployment of our AI-based trading platform at the largest solar farm in the NEM confirms that automated bidding tools are now firmly established as critical tools for operating renewable assets in the NEM. We’re excited to be supporting Octopus Investments and look forward to helping them navigate price volatility and constraints in an increasingly complex market.”

Australia’s wholesale power market has witnessed pricing volatility as swathes of renewables, in particular rooftop solar, has been installed in the country. Pricing volatility, alongside other concerns relating to policy and grid infrastructure, has caused some investors to withdraw from the market. An in-depth feature on the Australian solar investment market is to be included in the forthcoming edition of PV Tech Power, published later this month.

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