Mapping network opportunities for renewable energy

This project will create online maps of electricity network constraints to help better inform network investments and increase the use of renewable energy. The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will develop annually updated maps and make them freely available online.

Lead organisation:
University of Technology Sydney
Project partners:
NSW Trade and Investment , Ergon Energy Corporation Limited , ElectraNet Pty Ltd , TransGrid
Location:
Across the National Electricity Market: Queensland, ACT, Victoria, South Australia,Tasmania and UTS based in Sydney, NSW
Technology:
Hybrid and enabling technologies
ARENA programme:
Emerging Renewables Programme
Start date:
July 2014

Need

The absence of clear, consistent and timely data about network constraints, costs and potentially avoidable investment across the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) has been a major obstacle to the development of renewable and other decentralised energy projects in Australia.

Developing a system that creates annually updated maps of network constraints for the entire NEM would assist renewable energy project developers target locations of the grid where renewable energy, energy storage and demand management can be a cost effective alternative to network augmentation.

Project innovation

The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) will develop a standardised data protocol on network information and opportunities, supported by Network Service Providers in the NEM.

The project will enhance ISF’s Dynamic Avoidable Network Cost Evaluation (DANCE) model to produce annual maps of network capacity and constraints, planned investment and the potential value of decentralised energy in electricity networks across the NEM, through a publicly accessible web portal.

Benefit

The project will:

  • provide nationally consistent, annually updated and publicly accessible, online maps of electricity transmission and distribution network capacity and potential to reduce investment costs
  • facilitate more rapid and efficient development of renewable energy, electricity storage, demand management and other decentralised energy resources
  • assist in lowering electricity costs, raising network efficiency and energy productivity, and developing markets for renewable and decentralised energy
  • increase public awareness and understanding of the opportunities for renewable energy in areas of network constraints.

More information

News – 8 October 2015: New maps show renewable opportunities
Media release – 16 October 2014: Network maps to cut power costs and boost renewable energy

Contact information

Edward Langham, Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
Phone:
+61 2 9514 4971
Email:
edward.langham@uts.edu.au