Matias Valdes
Matias Valdes
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Norfolk Island Smart Grid Solutions

Incite Energy Electrical Engineer, Matias Valdes, comments on the Smart Grid solutions on our current project with Norfolk Island Regional Council.

With electricity generation the focus of concerted global warming efforts, it is easy to forget that electricity networks are not exempt from the impacts of climate change. Many of us remember the 2020 wildfires that drove up electricity prices and left many without power for several days. We should expect that these events will present obstacles to our energy transition efforts.

Traditionally, these challenges have been approached by using supply-side planning and operational tools. However, the value of seeking demand-side solutions to address these challenges is becoming increasingly clear. Tools that can help maintain the stability and reliability of the grid will become essential.

Early this year the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory presented results from the largest ever simulation of its kind where Transactive Energy principles were used to operate the Texas power grid (ERCOT). This mechanism uses the flexibility capabilities of demand assets to improve the reliability of grid operation, reduce the number and severity of grid outages, while facilitating higher renewable generation scenarios.

In this comprehensive five-year project, simulation showed how a system where distribution system operator’s (DSOs) can coordinate the planning and operation of flexible Demand Energy Resources (DERs), can enhance energy efficiency, reduce power costs, and promote renewable energy use. In this study, consumers stood to save 15% on their annual electric bill, savings that could later translate to benefits of up to $5 billion annually for ERCOT (which generates almost twice as much energy as Australia!).

On the other side of the world and on a much smaller scale, Incite Energy are currently leading the transition of the Norfolk Island electricity network towards a more renewable and affordable electrical grid. We are in the process of upgrading the network and implementing our own Demand Response algorithm (BESY) using smart meters and dynamic pricing that will provide new and more economical tariffs across the Island, to improve energy efficiency and reduce power costs.

Automated responses from customer devices will help the operator control peaks and troughs through the day and will enable new rooftop solar and household battery storage systems. Both which align perfectly with the goal set by the Norfolk Island Regional Council to reduce the cost and carbon footprint of the Island’s electricity supply.

Incite Energy are constantly looking for opportunities to transition communities large and small to a clean energy future that protects our environment and enhances our quality of life.

Download the Distribution System Operator with Transactive (DSO+T) Study

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