Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap update

Energy Networks Australia has given an update on the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap.

The project is being delivered through a partnership between the Energy Networks Association and CSIRO and seeks to develop an integrated program of actions and measures to guide Australia’s electricity transition over the critical 2017–27 decade.

Report identifies key features of future grid-side architecture and systems

A new report has identified the key features and characteristics of the future grid-side architecture and systems that are required to unlock the maximum value from increasing levels of distributed energy resources (DER) connecting to the network.

The report, NTR: Grid Design, Operation, Platform & Telecoms, was compiled by EA Technology and identified significant changes are required to current design and operational practices for the whole electricity system because of changes to both the type and location of new generation sources.

If no actions are taken to evolve current design and operational practices a range of new technical challenges could arise.

“Analysis of data provided by CSIRO has demonstrated that different states will experience different challenges under the various scenarios,” the report stated.

“This has illustrated that while, for example, South Australia, could experience reverse power flows and becoming a significant net exporter of power within a ten-year time horizon under certain scenarios, others will see demand erosion as their biggest challenge.

“The need to monitor customer behaviour and uptake of new technologies that will influence the direction of this demand curve, together with performing the more day-to-day network monitoring to gather information will become crucial in identifying the future world that is emerging and assisting network and system operators in responding in a timely and efficient manner.”

Unlocking value through Microgrids and Standalone Power Systems

Another report released as part of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap program, assessed the role Microgrids and Stand Alone Power Systems could play as alternatives to traditional grid infrastructure.

The analysis, undertaken by Energeia and CSIRO, tested the impact of various policy scenarios on the efficient uptake of microgrids, and the associated impact on customer bills and equity.

The outcomes of this analysis identified that in a limited number of circumstances, stand-alone power systems and Microgrids are likely to become a lower cost alternative to traditional grid supply arrangements.

Read the report here.

New program director

Energy Networks Australia has announced a new program director.

Current director Mark Paterson will be moving on to a new role in the industry, and will be replaced by CSIRO Energy chief economist Paul Graham will be stepping in.

“Mark has been instrumental in initiating the Roadmap Program and also in leading the detailed development of the soon to be released Roadmap Concept Report,” Energy Networks Australia said in the update.