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Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap: Innovation and Future Grid Operation

Supporting Energy Networks Australia in the transition to lower emissions, lower cost, higher security energy future

About the Project

The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap is a collaborative project between Energy Networks Australia and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

It seeks to establish the path that should be taken to allow the transition from the grid of today to that which is fit-for-purpose for the future challenges
associated with increased distributed energy resources, greater levels of renewable generation and bidirectional power flow.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to consider the technical, regulatory and commercial implications and understand how these should evolve over
the next 10 years.

As part of this project, EA Technology was commissioned to develop an Innovation Gap Analysis and Plan and to investigate the required functions for
the grid of the future under different scenarios.

What were the key findings?

EA Technology reviewed learning to date from the initial phase of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap and examined innovation activity in Australia to date.

A number of scenarios for potential future grid requirements were considered, depending on, for example, the appetite for DERs among customers and the level of engagement that customers found desirable.

This allowed the identification of key functions and areas for grid development as being a priority across scenarios. Timescales and critical milestones for the necessary development were then able to be highlighted.

These areas of high priority were cross-referenced with the innovation activity carried out to date in Australia and internationally, to identify gaps in innovation learning that exist.

Benefits

The work resulted in the publication of two reports in support of Phase 2 of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap: “Innovation Gap Analysis and Plan” and “Grid Design, Operation, Platform and Telecoms”

These reports contributed to the creation of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap Final Report, which now forms a key part of Australia’s strategy for successfully transitioning networks to a lower emissions, lower cost and high security energy future.

The learning from the reports is influencing the development of an innovation strategy within Australia such that innovative activities are not duplicated and learning is shared across all stakeholders.

Stuart Johnston, Executive Director Assets and Network Transformation, Energy Networks Australia quoted: “The development of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap required the engagement of several experts from around the world. Being able to call upon EA Technology’s vast experience of network innovation and their leading-edge thinking concerning the transition from ‘network operation’ to ‘system operation’ was hugely valuable and contributed to a successful outcome in defining the Roadmap.”