A new tool launched by the Institute of Sustainable Futures is encouraging alternatives to traditional grid management and has received support from the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

ENA Chief Executive Officer John Bradley said new Network Opportunity Maps launched by the the Institute of Sustainable Futures will provide a ground-breaking way of highlighting opportunities for new energy solutions in a collaborative era of grid management.

“Energy networks are looking for new and efficient ways the grid can support innovation in the Australian energy system,” Mr Bradley said.

Network Opportunity Maps use current network data to highlight hotspots where new solutions like demand management could deliver better outcomes for customers.”

Mr Bradley said the maps include spatial data provided by electricity networks in the National Electricity Market showing where network constraints are emerging, planned investment and the potential value of distributed energy resources.

“This is a ground-breaking tool and the ENA and its members will be developing an industry guideline for gathering the spatial information and data that supports the ongoing use of the maps,” Mr Bradley said.

“These maps reflect the collaborative future of Australia’s integrated energy grid.”

Mr Bradley said the tool will highlight opportunities in the market for distributed energy resources and non-network solutions to manage peak demand cost-effectively and defer network investment.

“The maps make it easier for new energy service providers to identify opportunities for renewable energy, battery storage and demand management initiatives to manage peak demand at a lower cost than augmenting the network,” Mr Bradley said.

The Network Opportunity Maps were developed by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) and are hosted on the CSIRO’s Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI) platform.

“These publicly available, interactive maps can help improve the efficiency of grid operation and reduce energy system costs for electricity customers,” Mr Bradley said.

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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