Brisbane-based energy technology company NOJA Power has received $5 million in government funding to develop breakthrough technology to ensure the electricity grid is stable as renewable energy is integrated.
With Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding, NOJA Power is developing smart switchgear that will monitor energy flow including voltage, current and phase angles on distribution networks.
The switchgear, including phasor monitoring units, is capable of capturing granular real-time data up to a hundred times more frequent than current SCADA monitoring is capable of.
Once developed, 100 units will be then be installed on electricity networks across Queensland and Victoria where renewable energy connect to the grid and in locations of high renewable penetration.
The data captured by these devices will be shared with ARENA, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Deakin University and the University of Queensland as well as AusNet and Energy Queensland to help provide more accurate real-time information on the electricity system, in a unique collaboration.
NOJA Power group managing director Neil O’Sullivan said working closely with leaders in the renewable energy sector would help to achieve results.
“This is a great example of government, industry and universities working together and collaborating to develop real solutions to tomorrow’s technical challenges on the distribution network,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said this new smarter generation of switchgear would enable better integration of renewable energy and improve grid stability.
“This new Australian-led technology will not only create a new innovation we can export to the world but will also benefit our whole electricity system by giving us greater visibility over our distribution networks and allow for more variable renewable energy,” he said.