Australia awards $451k to boost distributed energy in low voltage areas

Originally published by Priyanka Shrestha in Energy Live News here.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced funding worth AUD$451,167 (£239,243) for a demonstration project to boost the use of home solar power and batteries in low voltage areas.

The project will see eleXsys Energy demonstrate its new technology, which works by regulating voltage on low voltage power lines by dynamically providing or absorbing reactive power.

By maintaining voltage within normal operating bands, eleXsys can better utilise distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar and battery storage, without expensive grid upgrades.

The AUD$1.92 million (£1m) trial will be conducted with local distribution network service provider (DNSP) Energy Queensland, which will undertake testing of eleXsys at its Real Time Digital Simulator facility in Cairns to show how the technology performs across a wider range of network types.

Dr Bevan Holcombe, eleXsys Energy CEO said: "ARENA's support and that of Energy Queensland are critical to demonstrating applications of eleXsys in the residential DER market and how existing distribution grids can be supported to host much more exported solar energy than is typically the case in Australia today."

The company will install five of its devices, with three being directly connected to Energy Queensland's network, one trialled behind the meter on a customer's premises and the other used for testing at the Real Time Digital Simulator facility.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller added: "To help increase the amount of distributed energy we can have on Australia's energy network, it's vital that ARENA supports these new technologies such as the eleXsys which not only help to connect more home solar and batteries but also helps to avoid expensive network augmentation works to support increased demand.

"ARENA is excited to be supporting eleXsys Energy's trial of the eleXsys device. After a successful trial in south east Queensland, we could see the technology installed across the grid to save costs for users while also enabling more distributed renewals to be connected to the grid."

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