The Charters Towers region of Queensland will soon be the first to have Ergon Energy’s state of the art Grid Utility Support Systems (GUSS) units installed.

Ergon will install two GUSS units at New Moon Station 150 kilometres north of Charters Towers, which will feed power into its single wire (SWER) network supplying a number of remote properties in the area.

Another 18 units will be installed on other Ergon SWER powerlines between the Wide Bay/Burnett area to as far north as Dajarra in coming months.

Customer Delivery Manager Mark Biffanti said the units are designed to improve rural and remote power supply and will reduce the costs of augmenting or upgrading such sections of Ergon’s vast SWER network across western regional Queensland.

“GUSS works on our network by charging batteries with 100 kilowatt hours of capacity overnight when demand for electricity is at its lowest and discharging during peak demand periods if and when required,” he said.

Designed and developed by Ergon Energy, GUSS has been heralded as an important step in more efficient ways to run electricity networks and also towards giving customers greater choice and control in how they manage their electricity needs.

Not only that, Mr Biffanti said, “GUSS is also helping Ergon – and ultimately the electricity industry in Australia and worldwide – understand how to combine battery storage and the electricity network more effectively.”

The deployment of intelligent network devices like GUSS is the type of innovation that would ultimately revolutionise electricity networks and deliver 21st Century benefits to customers.

“We are incredibly proud to be leading the way toward better outcomes for customers with this kind of technology – it is an exciting time for Ergon and the future of power to people’s homes and businesses,” he said.

While the GUSS application was only effective at this stage on lower customer density areas on rural electricity networks, Mr Biffanti said research and development was continuing at Ergon on energy storage systems for urban network areas.

“GUSS is a much quicker option than traditional upgrades of Ergon’s SWER network and is helping us understand how similar technology can deliver cost effective power to customers.”

“It can deliver an estimated 35 per cent cheaper option for network augmentation – a saving that will ultimately reduce upward pressure on electricity prices,” he said.

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