Despite potential advantages of load aggregation and scale discounts, few of Australia's 2.3 million apartment residents are amongst the country's 1.8 million solar prosumers. However, embedded networks can be used to distribute rooftop photovoltaic generation to households if split incentives and regulatory barriers are overcome.
The authors present a model of an embedded network with PV in an Australian apartment building. Load data from real apartment households are combined with modelled PV generation to describe energy and cash flows over the course of a year. The distribution of costs and benefits between stakeholders is calculated under a range of financial arrangements. Embedded network benefits are highly sensitive to retail and wholesale energy costs at the parent meter and to site-specific capital costs. The addition of PV can, in some circumstances, increase the financial viability of an embedded network and careful tariff design can help incentivise this investment and ensure customer retention.