Demand Response Competitive Round

A total of $22.5 M funding is available to drive innovation in demand response to manage extreme peak demand and respond to grid emergencies.

Demand Response Competitive Round

Demand Response Competitive Round

ARENA and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) announced their intent to develop a demand response initiative to manage electricity supply during extreme peaks and grid emergencies.

During a grid emergency or extreme weather days, demand for electricity may spike putting strain on the electricity system. Under this three-year pilot program, ARENA and AEMO will look to provide support for  projects that reduce electricity use in response to grid emergencies or extreme peak demand days.



On May 19, ARENA and AEMO announced a joint initiative to trial demand response to provide reserve capacity during extreme peaks and emergencies. ARENA and AEMO also held an A-Lab Accelerate innovation workshop to consult with industry stakeholders on the design of a demand response program.

On May 22, ARENA put out a Request for Information (RFI) to ask industry stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed pilot scheme to help inform the parameters of a competitive round. ARENA received more than 50 responses to the RFI, summary of these results will be provided during the competitive round process.

This demand response initiative aligns with ARENA’s new Investment Plan which includes delivering secure and reliable electricity as one of the investment priorities.



The objectives of this round are to:

  • Demonstrate that demand response is an effective source of reserve capacity for maintaining reliability of the electricity grid during contingency events, and that demand response resources can be rapidly developed for deployment from summer 2017/18.
  • Provide an evidence base to inform the merits and design of a new market, or other mechanism, for demand response to assist with grid reliability and security, allowing for greater uptake of renewable energy.
  • Improve the commercial and technical readiness of demand response providers and technologies, in particular to help demonstrate and commercialise the use of demand response for grid security and reliability.



The total funding allocation is approximately $22.5 million over three years, which may be increased or reduced at the discretion of the ARENA Board.



ARENA and AEMO aim to demonstrate approximately 100 megawatts of demand response capacity can be trialled in an operational context to support system reliability in the upcoming summers. This program will aim to demonstrate that demand response can be an efficient and low cost mechanism to support higher penetration of variable renewable energy in the electricity grid without compromising grid security and stability.

ARENA will seek to demonstrate a range of different approaches including delivery by demand response aggregators, retailers, networks and directly by large energy customers. ARENA aims to create a portfolio of projects using different technologies including industrial processes, batteries, distributed generation, controllable loads like pumps, heating and ventilation and smart appliances like air conditioners and pool pumps.


Information Sessions

These information sessions will be cover both the RERT and the ARENA initiative.

Please email to register your attendance for any of the sessions below:


WHEN: Wed 14 June 2017, 9:30am – 12:30pm
WHERE: Intercontinental Melbourne Rialto 495 Collins Street Melbourne


WHEN: Thu 15 June 2017, 9:30am – 12:30pm
WHERE: Adina Plaza 2 Flinders Street Adelaide


WHEN: Tue 20 June 2017, 9:30am – 12:30pm
WHERE: Sir Stamford Circular Quay 93 Macquarie Street Sydney


WHEN: Thu 22 June 2017, 9:30am – 12:30pm
WHERE: Stamford Plaza Brisbane Cnr Edward & Margaret Streets Brisbane


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