Australia Plans Major Energy Grid Overhaul for Next Half-Century

Monash University Energy Institute

Engineering for a reliable renewable grid

“Our project, Stability enhancement of utility-scale renewable energy farms in weak grids will assist both network owners and operators to ensure customers get the maximum value of these renewable farms located in weak parts of the grid. It will also increase the reliability and security of the grid in such areas,” says Dr Behrooz Bahrani, a research director in the Grid Innovation Hub. This project is developing:

  • ways to identify parts of the grid where wind and solar farms will be vulnerable to instability
  • technologies to strengthen weak networks through devices and/or control strategies
  • technologies to porrect wind and solar farms from weak grids.

The project’s partners include PSC and AEMC.

Polices for a reliable renewable grid

“There is no energy transition without storage, however there is no policy for storage yet,” says Associate Professor Guillaume Roger, a research director in Monash Energy Institute’s Grid Innovation Hub. “Storage is based on arbitrage and delay, which are completely new considerations in electricity markets that are traditionally designed for immediate delivery and consumption. At this point we are still in front of the problem, but the physical reality is moving fast and so must research and policy making.”

The Hub has established a project to investigate how best to integrate energy storage into Australia’s national energy market. The project is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) both involved.

“Power Systems Consultants (PSC) are already working on this project with us.,” says Guillaume.

“The energy storage decisions we make in the next five years will define how Australia’s grid will operate for the next twenty years,” he says.

With the right policies, grid-scale storage can:

  • remove the variability in supply of renewable energy, reducing the need for expensive backup generation
  • protect the value of renewable investments
  • reduce energy price surges
  • ensure that storage can’t be used to game the market and push up spot prices.

“This ground-breaking project extends the Hub’s work to bring to bear Monash’s multi-disciplinary expertise, economic IT, and engineering to tackle one of the thorniest challenges in energy market design today – how to design markets that deliver adequate investment in energy storage to support stable market and grid operation in a low-carbon world,” says Tony Marxsen.

Photo caption and credit

Monash University welcomes PSC and X-ELIO as members of the GRID Innovation Hub.

Credit: Angkit Thapa, Monash University.

From left to right Dr Sarah Goodwin, Monash Energy Institute Tina Kazmer, Power Systems Consultants Associate Professor Guillaume Roger, Monash Energy Institute Matthew Robinson, Power Systems Consultants Dr Behrooz Bahrani, Monash Energy Institute Belinda Fan, X-ELIO Nandhini Nehru, Monash Energy Institute

About us:

About the Grid Innovation Hub

The Grid Innovation Hub is a collaborative research vehicle bringing together industry, government and Monash University’s world-leading researchers to tackle some of the most important opportunities of our time through ingenious research and inspiring education.

Australia’s energy sector is embarked on dramatic transformation, driven by new technologies and increasingly empowered customers. New energy infrastructure, new market designs and dynamic regulatory environments are required for the rapidly approaching low-carbon world.

Cutting-edge data science and grid engineering for next-generation energy technology combined with world-leading market and regulatory design, give the Grid Innovation Hub its true interdisciplinary approach to the creation of new opportunities for Australia to lead the world in energy.

The Hub welcomes enquiries from potential industry members.

About X-ELIO

X-ELIO is specialised in the development, construction, financing and operation of sustainable energy projects with a global presence in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Japan and Australia.

The firm has 17 years of experience with more than 2.6 GW built. The group is a world leader in the development of renewable and sustainable energy, with a strong commitment to greenhouse gas reduction and the fight against climate change.

About PSC

PSC works every day to take on the electricity industry’s greatest challenges. With trends like electric vehicles, microgrids, and the IoT, it couldn’t be a more exciting time to be part of the electric power industry.

Our global team of consultants, professionals and engineers leverage lessons learned from our projects worldwide to provide our clients with expert, independent advice. We’ve been doing this since 1995 and are just as passionate today as we were when we started up.

Always putting our clients’ needs first, we’ve helped evaluate and implement new and emerging technologies for real-time operations, DER management, transmission renewables integration, network testing and analytics, and grid security compliance to help our clients develop their grid of the future and power a more sustainable

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