What is Critical Peaking?

Our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) provides critical peaking services to protect the grid during supply shortages year-round. Events occur on hot summer afternoons when demand is very high, during winter when there’s not enough supply to meet demand, or when large power stations or parts of the transmission network, including interconnectors between states are experiencing outages. In today’s volatile electricity market, power prices can spike to $15,100 / MWh. To put downward pressure on pricing, we operate our VPP capacity during extreme spikes - which often indicates a supply shortfall - and are paid for it.

How does it work?


We register your backup generator with the market operator and are paid the real-time ‘spot’ price whenever it runs - to support the grid when there is a supply shortfall, and our VPP is called.

Market participation

Enel X’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) aggregates customers’ backup generation assets across businesses in Australia and offers this capacity to AEMO as a new source of power supply during these critical times.

Earn significant revenue

There are two ways to earn revenue:

  • We activate our VPP when we expect critical peaks to occur and capture spot market revenues.
  • We provide our VPP capacity as an ‘insurance policy’ to power retailers who are concerned about their ability to meet demand during critical peaking periods. We receive an ongoing standby payment based on the MW of insurance we offer and are required to deliver.

The second model is much more valuable because the earnings are more stable and predictable.

This also means you can also be paid for conducting routine generator testing.

Enhance emergency preparedness

By joining in our VPP, you’ll have more confidence that your backup system will perform in the event of a grid trip or failure. Participation provides:

  • Improved testing practices - thoroughly test your backup power systems with the safety net of grid power to switch back to, should any potential issues be identified.  Participation also addresses common backup generator testing shortfalls, which often fail to fully simulate the response required during a power failure.
  • Advanced notification of possible grid events – we provide notifications which enable your team to proactively switch to backup power ahead of time.
  • Payments for testing - by responding to a critical grid event, you can meet routine test requirements where they overlap, meaning a site can be paid to test its backup power systems.

Advance Australia's renewable future

DR provides the additional, dispatchable capacity the greed needs to remain stable and secure. This new capacity is essential to supporting the renewable energy transition, because dispatchable resources help to integrate variable renewable energy sources onto the grid.
Backup generator
Echuca Regional Health hospital
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We run our generators when the grid still has power, making it an excellent way to test and iron out assumptions around reliability. We can also defer our weekly test because we’ve met the Australian standards requirements to test them on load. The fact we get paid to respond is a win-win.

Mark Hooper, Executive Project Manager

Echuca Regional Health

Why Enel X?

We are the global market leader

Businesses trust our proven track record as the market leader. Enel X manages the largest world’s largest C&I VPP, with 7.9 GW of Demand Response offered. Our ambition is to grow this to 10.6 GW by 2023. More than 15,000 global enterprises are doing Demand Response with us across 11 countries today.

We operate the largest VPP in Australia

Businesses trust our proven track record as the market leader. We deliver the most DR revenue, while properly prioritising and protecting your core operations, and ensuring full choice for your retail power supply.

  • >10 years of DR experience in Australia
  • >A$200M in DR revenue delivered to ANZ customers over the past 10 years
  • First VPP to enter the FCAS market and 90% of aggregated C&I DR resources in FCAS today
  • Mission Critical Technology Innovation, 2020 award for DR in the IT sector (Datacenter Dynamics)

Global innovation, local execution

We bring our global leading platforms to local markets. We unlock new opportunities to decarbonise, digitalise and electrify your energy use in ways that will help grow your business.


We manage 629 MW of Battery Energy Storage installed capacity (BTM, FTM, Enel Plants) globally today.


We are also growing our world-leading electric mobility footprint, evolving from 230,000 charging points to 780,000 in the next two years.