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Counties Energy and SA Power Networks sign Trans-Tasman collaboration agreement

Energy companies Counties Energy and South Australian-based SA Power Networks have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on a number of opportunities in the Distribution System Operator (DSO) space.

The companies, who are leading the charge in the integration of emerging technologies into distribution networks in their respective countries, have identified a significant opportunity to develop DSO services for electric vehicle (EV) charging utilising the combined strengths of each business.

Counties Energy Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Moonis Vegdani says the companies will be focusing on smarter energy orchestration and the benefits this will bring to customers and ultimately to the environment.

We’ve identified that there is immense scope between us as we develop electric vehicle charging services with demand management capability for our DSO vision. We’re excited to collaborate and bring together our talented teams to work on developing smarter ways of integrating Distributed Energy Resources on our energy ecosystem. SA Power Networks are leaders in this space in Australia so it’s a natural fit to us to work together to bring our shared capabilities and learnings to benefit customers on both sides of the Tasman. Our aim is to collaborate with the leading minds in this space so we can develop industry leading DSO services for our customers in a short timeframe.” — Moonis Vegdani

At the heart of the collaboration will be OpenLoop, Counties Energy’s dynamic e-mobility software platform and SA Power Networks’ expertise in implementing Dynamic Operating Envelopes (DOEs). The companies will jointly develop implementation algorithms for DOEs to manage EV charging demand using IEEE CSIP-AUS 2030.5, taking SA Power Networks’ learnings from their advanced trials focused on demand management solutions, while also developing a proof of concept for managing multiple EV charging aggregators in a DSO model. OpenLoop will also be trialled as an EV charging aggregator to orchestrate EV chargers through aggregators and validate the operating model for SA Power Networks and Counties Energy. The companies will ultimately target benefits associated to managing security of supply and avoiding costly and unnecessary investment.

SA Power Networks Head of Network Strategy Brendon Hampton says that the aim of the partnership is ultimately to create more efficient and flexible electric vehicle charging services to benefit customers and empower them to be at the centre of the energy revolution.

This partnership will focus on the opportunities our transition to DSO capability presents in terms of EV charging and the mass market evolution to e-mobility. Our aim is to work with Counties Energy to unlock potential new solutions and orchestrate them in a coordinated way that meets growing customer expectations, operates within our networks’ dynamic operating envelope and creates new energy opportunities. Currently, the IEEE CSIP-AUS 2030.5 standard sits at the heart of industry leading services such as Flexible Exports in Australia and we are now looking at ways to extend this further for EV charging demand management. This is a rapidly evolving market with huge opportunity for us as electricity distributors to develop and offer customers smart, cost-effective solutions while managing peak and bi-directional demand.” — Brendon Hampton

For more information on Counties Energy’s transition to a DSO and to watch the video, go to

About Counties Energy

Counties Energy is a multi-market energy services company in New Zealand. Its core business is in providing electricity distribution network services in the southern Auckland and northern Waikato regions. Counties Energy has a portfolio of investments in innovative energy solutions that contribute towards Aotearoa New Zealand’s decarbonisation goals. Counties Energy has developed an end-to-end e-mobility software platform and related mobile app – OpenLoop.

About SA Power Networks

SA Power Networks is South Australia’s electricity distributor delivering power to 1.7 million people in an area covering about 180,000 square kilometres. It is ranked as the most efficient electricity distributor by Australia’s national energy regulator and continually innovates to improve efficiency and safety. With rooftop solar collectively the biggest daytime generation source available in SA, SA Power Networks has been leading the development in Australia of dynamic export capability for solar. It’s Flexible Exports option provides more opportunity for customers to export their surplus and is a crucial part of managing widely distributed customer energy resources including electric vehicles.

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