Energy Queensland has begun construction on a new industry-leading, purpose built laboratory in Cairns to research new energy technologies.
Queensland Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said Energy Queensland is building the new 300 square meter ‘Innovation Laboratory’ facility within an existing Ergon operations workshop in Bungalow.
“Ergon Energy is currently testing a range of battery storage options including products from Panasonic, LG, Fronius and Tesla in a temporary facility in Cairns,” Mr Bailey said.
“The new laboratory will enable our experts to undertake this important research in a new modern facility.”
Mr Bailey said the laboratory and workshop will cement Energy Queensland as a leader in energy innovation and research into both the household and network benefits of new technologies.
“This investment is part of a broader strategy by Energy Queensland to ensure our electricity network can connect more solar PV generation, integrate safely and efficiently with battery storage options, and support other energy technologies as they emerge,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is Energy Queensland in action bringing the smarts of Ergon to a new research and testing facility that will help deliver the best possible outcomes for customers as new and innovative products roll out across Queensland.
“I believe the work done at the Innovation Laboratory will be critical to advance Queensland’s – and no doubt Australia’s – energy future.”
Mr Bailey said the Queensland Government has been leading the preparation of Australian Standards for safe energy storage and renewable energy systems through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council.
“Research performed in this new laboratory will ensure we remain at the leading edge of these developments,” Mr Bailey said.
Energy Queensland Interim CEO Terry Effeney said the new laboratory facility will enable these trials and several others to continue and expand, including the utilisation of a 63 kilowatt solar PV array on the existing roofing structure above the laboratory space.
“The $700,000 project is expected to be fully-functional by the start of 2017,” Mr Effeney said.
“The Innovation Laboratory will become a very important part of planning for future networks and will allow our best and brightest to focus on the future of energy options for customers.
“Ergon expects to announce industry-leading research projects to be based at the new laboratory over the next 12 months.”
Ergon’s Technology Development team of electrical engineers and technicians have helped in finalising the design of the new laboratory to ensure it can cater for various types of energy system trials – new advanced technology as well as common household equipment.