A South Australian utility has been named amongst Australia’s top 100 most innovative companies in the 2021 AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List. 

Ranked fifth in the Agriculture, Mining and Utilities category, SA Power Networks was the only electricity distribution utility to make the top 100, selected from over 700 nominated organisations across Australia and New Zealand. 

The prestigious annual list, published by The Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, is based on a rigorous assessment process managed by innovation consultancy, Inventium, in conjunction with a panel of industry expert judges.  

Judges assess a specific innovation as well as a company’s innovation strategy and culture. 

SA Power Networks Head of Corporate Affairs, Paul Roberts, said, “We are thrilled to be recognised for our growing innovation program. 

“It’s easy when people look at a traditional poles and wires business like ours to assume we are not innovative. 

“The reality today is that we have to be innovative to adapt to the rapid change in the way customers want to source and use energy; the revolution underway in meeting South Australia’s energy needs from renewable energy sources, including rooftop solar; and the changing role of the electricity distribution network we manage. 

“We welcome the power of possibility these changes are creating.”

Mr Roberts said that as an organisation, SA Power Networks has been working hard to create a more innovative culture, and were able to demonstrate to the judges how it is maturing its organisational approach, with a focus on delivering better outcomes for customers and community. 

“We also were able to highlight some highly innovative projects that are world-leading,” Mr Roberts said. 

“For example, a focus has been how we can efficiently support the growing amount of rooftop solar and batteries and other ‘distributed energy resources (DER)’ directly connecting to our network in South Australia. We are leading the world in this change and that means we are also developing world-first solutions to integrating DER.

“A key innovation project underway is the introduction of a system for flexible export limits for solar customers – which will help us meet our goal to double the amount of solar on our network by 2025. 

“While we are excited to be recognised in these awards, we know we have more to do in enhancing our customer service and management of the network through innovation. 

“In some senses, innovation is a never-ending journey and we love the power of possibility that it brings to our business!” 

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