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Ergon Energy’s Microgrid and Isolated Systems Test (MIST) Facility is shaping Queensland’s energy landscape through cutting-edge research and technology.

The $6 million MIST Facility is helping guide Queensland’s transition to a low carbon, low cost energy future.

The MIST Facility was designed by local architectural firm Clarke and Prince with electrical consultants Aurecon, and built by local contractors Osborne Construction Solutions and Babinda Electrics.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said MIST is playing a key role in advancing renewables and integrating new technology into Queensland’s electricity network.

“This is a world-class hub for energy research and development,” Mr Dick said.

“It holds potential benefits for everyone in our power supply chain, from distributors and developers to everyday Queenslanders.

“The state-of-the-art technology housed here allows for the complex testing of solar and batteries, microgrids, standalone power systems, even hydrogen energy storage and carbon reduction.

“By finding solutions that will reduce emissions and put further downward pressure on energy prices, Queensland will continue to lead the renewable energy revolution.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said it was only because Queensland owned its energy assets that it could bring cutting-edge technology, jobs and skills for Queenslanders.

“Our publicly-owned energy companies have long been powerhouses of innovation, and this is further proof,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has a very strong record of ensuring no matter where you live in Queensland you have access to affordable, reliable electricity.

“Regional and remote Queensland is home to world-class renewable resources.

“Our ability to leverage those through microgrids and isolated systems has received a big shot in the arm with this new facility.”

Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said the MIST Facility was allowing Ergon Energy employees and other locals in the energy workforce to upskill for the future.

“The MIST Facility is creating more high-skill, high-value jobs in Far North Queensland,” Mr Healy said.

“This is work being carried out by some of the brightest minds in our energy sector, and it’s all happening in Cairns.”

Ergon Energy is recognised as a leader in the development of national standards for residential solar PV systems and batteries.

Over the past decade the Ergon Energy team has carried out pioneering work in its much smaller Innovation Lab, which is now incorporated into the new facility; meaning the company has the facilities and technology to develop ideas even further.  

With a supercomputer for real-time digital simulations and a large array of connection options, the MIST Facility is capable of complex testing for large-scale systems up to one megawatt.

MIST Facility Principal Engineer for Technology Innovation, Alan Louis, said the work was supporting regional development in Queensland.

“Testing in simulated conditions before you deploy saves time and money, which is especially important for rural and remote communities,” Mr Louis said.

“Our work is helping to maximise the performance of solar installations and battery storage systems before they’re installed, which is good for the environment and the back pocket.

“With a facility of this calibre, we can prepare Queensland customers, communities, and our workforce, for the future.

“We’re also proud to have strong working relationships with institutions like James Cook University and Central Queensland University, creating more opportunities for local graduates and researchers.”

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