Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have collaborated to generate ideas and open discussions to help determine how Australia operates the electricity networks of the future.

ARENA’s innovative workshop series A-Lab brings together industry participants from across the energy sector to troubleshoot and engineer ways to adapt the grid, reduce network costs and better integrate new technologies.

Participants at the A-Lab workshop, held on 20 September 2017, are exploring the future design requirements of electricity distribution systems. They will also look at ways to encourage the alignment of industry projects to accelerate the network transformation.

With the continued rise of solar photovoltaic (PV) and the growth in batteries, this ideate session looked at ‘grid orchestration’ for the networks of tomorrow.

Energy Networks Australia Interim CEO, Andrew Dillon, said the transition to a system with far more distributed generation and storage provides many opportunities for energy customers but also represents challenges that Australia needs to act on now.

“The CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia Electricity Transformation Network Roadmap demonstrates how the successful integration of these new network services could see $16 billion in network infrastructure investment avoided by 2050,” Mr Dillon said.

“Networks could buy grid support from customers with annual payments worth $1.1 billion within ten years.

“However, electricity distribution systems need to evolve in order to manage the technical challenges created by two-way energy flows.

“Today’s workshop brings together a range of experts to explore innovative ways to ensure the grid remains reliable and secure into the future.”

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