Unlocking answers to the energy supply system of the future

Thursday, 26 September 2019

An initiative has launched aimed at providing ways Australia can successfully integrate new energy technologies into the power grid.

The Advanced Energy Integration Initiative brings together eight leading research centres from three universities – Newcastle, New South Wales and Wollongong.

The collaboration will provide solutions to one of the most significant challenges to impact the global economy: the stability of our energy future.

“Traditional energy solutions are no longer adequate and the scale of the challenge demands a new approach,” said Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources at the University of Newcastle.

“A new generation of technologies and electrical power engineering expertise is needed to test and better understand the dynamics of the new electricity supply paradigm.”

Established under the banner of the NUW Alliance – a collaboration of the University of Newcastle (UON), University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Wollongong (UOW) – the initiative will see the eight research centres deliver, through a major regional demonstration, solutions that could be applied nationally and internationally.

The centres include: the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (UON), Priority Research Centre for Frontier Energy Technologies and Utilisation (UON), Centre for Advanced Energy Integration (UON), UNSW Energy Institute (UNSW), Digital Grid Futures Institute (UNSW), ARC Research Centre for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions (UNSW), Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (UOW) and Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (UOW).

“Industry-engaged research and training has a major role to play in regional energy solutions and there is much to leverage when research-intensive universities are embedded in regional areas,” Professor Broadfoot added.

“This will provide a real solution focus to future-proof energy systems and ensure reliable, secure and affordable energy for communities and businesses.”

The initiative was launched at a forum in Muswellbrook attended by the partner organisations, along with private industry and local councils.

Professor Broadfoot believes the initiative provides a focal point for specialised workforce training and jobs and a potential model and testbed for next generation power systems.

“It’s an opportunity to be truly transformative,” he said.

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