CSIRO opens Renewable Energy Integration Facility

Will develop new grid management and other energy-related technologies

The CSIRO has launched a new research centre aimed at helping transform Australian electricity networks and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The Renewable Energy Integration Facility based in Newcastle, NSW, will develop grid management technologies that will allow greater penetration of renewable, low-emission energy resources into electricity networks.

The facility will also be used to develop automatic fault detection techniques to help improve electricity supply reliability and reduce blackouts, according to the CSIRO.

CSIRO scientist, Dr David Cornforth, said the $1 million facility incorporated a large range of electrical generators and replicates the way electrical load for an entire complex changes during the day.

“This means researchers at the facility can test new grid design and operation techniques in a real-world environment using a variety of electrical generators and loads,” he said.

“The facility demonstrates how electricity networks will work in the future where the electricity supply mix will include greater numbers of small power sources in conjunction with large, centralised power sources.”

Dr Cornforth said research conducted at the facility would help benefit developed countries with existing electricity networks and assist in the low-emissions electrification of developing countries.

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