CSIRO launches new flexible demand pilot in NSW

Digital panel interface on wall of residence showing flexible demand options to control and monitor energy usage
The DIEF project will allow property owners within the pilot to share data and build innovative software applications for sophisticated management of building carbon emissions (Image: CSIRO)

A new $11 million project led by national science agency CSIRO will drive the development of new technology to support flexible demand for energy, empowering consumers to have more control over their electricity usage, save money and ease pressure on the energy grid.

Flexible demand is an alternative to the traditionally rigid energy network infrastructure, offering a way to lighten the load on the grid during busy periods, reduce energy costs and lower peak demand. However, the flexible demand approach is still nascent and requires new technologies, market processes and ways of engaging with energy users.

Related article: Spotlight On: CSIRO Energy Director Dr Dietmar Tourbier

The Digital Infrastructure Energy Flexibility (DIEF) pilot project will address these issues, bringing together a consortium of project sponsors responsible for funding, research outcomes, coordinating artificial intelligence competitions and onboarding buildings onto the digital platform.

Members of the NSW consortium who are sponsoring the project include CSIRO, NSW Government, Amber Electric, DNA Energy, EVSE Australia, Nube iO, Property and Development NSW, RACE for 2030 CRC, UNSW, UOW, and Wattwatchers.

CSIRO’s Data Clearing House Platform (DCH) provides the digital infrastructure for the project. DCH is a software platform for owners and operators of existing or new commercial, industrial, government, and mixed-use developments to connect with service providers to solve common data related problems.

Up to 200 buildings, selected by the project consortium, will participate in the pilot and be connected to the DCH Platform.

The DCH Platform forms part of CSIRO’s developing Smart Energy Mission which is focused on building Australia’s next generation of integrated and equitable energy systems.

CSIRO’s Energy Director, Dr Dietmar Tourbier, said the DIEF project would help improve the viability and uptake in flexible demand, delivering benefits to consumers and industry alike.

“Flexible demand is critical because it ensures grid stability, reduces costs, supports increasing renewable energy integration, and enables a more sustainable and efficient energy system,” Dr Tourbier said.

“This project has the potential to create a new ecosystem of technologies and solutions that will give consumers more control over their energy bills and emissions.”

Related article: Enel X in ‘flexible demand’ commercial refrigeration trial

The project will allow property owners within the pilot to share data and build innovative software applications for sophisticated management of building carbon emissions. Property owners will be able to identify opportunities for energy flexibility and productivity improvements resulting in reduced operating costs, energy use and improved comfort and occupant experience.

The data collected during this trial will be used to inform Government on the creation of a flexible demand policy and asset register. Find out more about the Data Clearing House Platform.


Previous articleClimate-friendly cows bred to belch less methane
Next articleSouth Australia launches vehicle-to-grid charging trial