Monash research to stabilise Aussie energy grid

Wednesday, 11 October, 2023

Monash research to stabilise Aussie energy grid

Monash University electrical engineering researchers will use federal government funding to investigate and develop a tool to predict and manage instability in Australia’s national energy grid.

Implementation of the tool, suitable for use by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSPs), is expected to further boost connection to the national grid of renewable energy sources including solar and wind-generated electricity.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced half a million dollars of funding as part of a $1.3 million Monash engineering research project to investigate the nature and origin of periodic variations in the national energy grid.

The Monash Grid Innovation Hub will power the research, led by Associate Professor Behrooz Bahrani of the Monash Faculty of Engineering.

According to Bahrani, it is crucial to enhance the stability and resilience of the national energy grid as the transition to renewable energy is accelerated.

With the support of ARENA, the project aims to address current energy flow challenges and pave the way for a robust, reliable and renewable future for energy infrastructure.

Grid instability across parts of Victoria and New South Wales led AEMO to curb the contribution of five solar energy farms for eight months during 2019–2020 while it worked to identify and address the causes.

The project will reduce instability, aiming to support the growth of renewable energy generation, optimise production from existing wind and solar operators and encourage investment in additional renewable sources.

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO, said these risks must be addressed to avoid long-term electricity supply issues by building reliable and efficient tools that can identify root causes early.

“These tools should also be useful to explore the suitability of solutions for a grid increasingly dominated by renewable power.

“The researchers at Monash are working on the best solutions to improve stability and we’re confident the outcomes will help ramp up new renewable energy generation and storage projects,” Miller said.

ARENA has previously funded Monash University to investigate and research designs that promote more stable operation in weak grid conditions.

“Monash is committed to doing all we can to facilitate the seamless integration of renewables into our grid, and we’re optimistic that this collaboration will again come up with innovative solutions,” Bahrani said.

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