February 12 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on Monday said it has awarded AUD 9.6 million (USD 6.8m/EUR 6m) in funding to projects supporting the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) into Australia’s electricity grid.
Five pilot projects have benefitted from AUD 7.21 million of the overall sum to conduct trials for new approaches that could lift the network hosting capacity so that more DER renewables capacity, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) power, is integrated. The particular projects are led by Zeppelin Bend, Jemena, SA Power Networks, Solar Analytics and RACV. One of them, by Zeppelin Bend, has also secured funding from the New South Wales government to deploy trial software on the state power grid that will connect with DER assets and act as a traffic controller to manage grid congestion.
An additional AUD 2.38 million has been allocated to seven studies looking to investigate how to add large DER volumes into an energy grid and the energy market. The studies are led by CitiPower & Powercor, Dynamic Limits, University of Tasmania, CSIRO, Oakley Greenwood, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.
“Rooftop solar, batteries and other customer-related energy technologies are set to play a key role in shaping the future energy system,” said CEO Darren Miller. He explained that up to 50% of the electricity in Australia could be produced by consumers within the next few decades, as compared to just 4% now, which would require software and hardware innovations.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.708/EUR 0.628)