SwitchDin to build Southern Hemisphere’s largest DER test lab

SwitchDin team smiling in their office (lab)
Image: SwitchDin

Energy technology company SwitchDin will build the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Distributed Energy Resources (DER) focused test lab thanks to support from the NSW Government’s Jobs Plus Program. 

The lab will allow SwitchDin to emulate a complete microgrid test environment to test a wide range of DER’s, such as solar inverters, batteries, EV chargers and smart loads including air conditioners and heat pumps. 

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This testing will enable SwitchDin to support different operating regimes that can affect the efficiency of DER for the provision of grid services and participation in energy markets. SwitchDin’s new DER lab will be located at its new head office in Newcastle. 

The lab will emulate grid events and faults in order to test how a wide range of different manufacturers DER will respond. The lab will utilise photovoltaic (PV) and grid simulators to run testing scenarios such as phase imbalances, harmonics issues and the dispatch of Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS). 

The support from the NSW Government is enabling this new facility to accelerate SwitchDin’s growth and will deliver 55 direct and 33 indirect full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs by June 2024. SwitchDin’s new test lab will further boost the company’s international expansion plans to Europe and the United States by allowing the lab to replicate grid environments in these markets. 

In addition, it will provide an opportunity for SwitchDin’s customers to understand how different manufacturer DER will respond on their networks to deliver new grid services. 

SwitchDin COO Marc Sheldon said, “The support that we received from the NSW Government Jobs Plus Program allows us to increase the size of our team in New South Wales. This will be instrumental in supporting development work, the test lab and expanding our customer base. 

“This is a win for New South Wales as it positions itself as a state that is driving Australia’s clean energy transition. In particular, the lab will support our work using SwitchDin’s cloud orchestration platform, Stormcloud, to coordinate a diverse fleet of solar inverters, batteries, EV chargers and other flexible loads.” 

NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said Jobs Plus is unlocking the enormous potential of home-grown businesses, as well as attracting global heavyweights to expand in our state, which will help to drive the NSW economy forward in line with our long-term economic plan.

“These jobs will boost the state’s thriving economy, help to develop even more world-leading products, and cement NSW as Australia’s innovation capital,” Henskens said.

Related article: FIMER inverters integrated with SwitchDin tech

Founded in Newcastle in 2014, SwitchDin bridges the gaps between energy utilities, network operators and energy end users such as households and businesses. With Stormcloud, a smart, digital platform that securely connects distributed energy resources all over the grid, asset owners can connect, control and communicate with a diverse range of assets to deliver a truly flexible and responsive grid. 

SwitchDin’s customers include Ausgrid, AGL, Origin, Horizon Power, Synergy, Western Power, SA Power Networks, Yurika, and Simply Energy.

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