More than 150 households in NSW and Victoria will take part in an innovative new trial to test how smart inverters can work alongside rooftop solar and home energy storage to cut costs and improve the stability and reliability of Australia’s electricity supply.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said ARENA was pleased to be supporting the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) trial as part of ARENA’s efforts to accelerate Australia’s transition to an energy system powered by renewables that will serve the needs of Australians into the future.
“ARENA is at the forefront of efforts to integrate renewable energy into our electricity grids and at the same time provide affordable, reliable and sustainable power for Australians,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Australian households are world-leaders in rooftop solar adoption and now we’re seeing fast-growing interest in residential battery storage.
“With the right approach, we see strong potential for this ‘decentralised energy’ revolution to improve stability of the grid while giving customers extra incentives to put solar on their roofs.”
ARENA is providing $1.87 million in funding for the ISF at the University of Technology Sydney to lead the trial, dubbed ‘Networks Renewed’.
“This is an exciting moment in our energy transition. Using Australian innovation, this project will tap the crucial but little-known potential of smart inverters to improve power quality on the grid,” ISF Research Director Chris Dunstan said.
“If managed well, solar and batteries not only avoid such problems, they can actually provide support to vulnerable parts of the grid and reduce the need for costly new network infrastructure.
“While this smart technology exists in all inverters sold today, electricity networks have rarely used it for this purpose and never with sophisticated controls.
“If successful, the trial will demonstrate how solar and battery storage can help support reliable networks and accelerate uptake of rooftop solar in Australia.”
UTS media release 22 Nov 2016 – New trial to unlock grid value in household solar and batteries