Providing electric vehicle charging at ANU

As life continues to return to the ANU campus we’re finally able to announce that we’re providing free electric vehicle charging – powered by the DERlab.

Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said: “I see this as the first small step, or a precursor to having charging available more broadly on campus. I envision a set of EV parking spots will be rolled out across campus in the years to come so people can plug in and charge their EV while the sun is shining and the energy is cheap, rather than, like me, going home when the sun has set and plugging in.

“Here at ANU we are a community of 20,000 people, we have the opportunity to lead the way, implement our own knowledge and show the world how to do it. We will have to make some sacrifices to get ANU Below Zero by 2030 but our community is right behind it,” said Professor Schmidt.

Full story @ BSGIP website

Neighbourhood batteries in Australia: Anticipating questions of value conflict and (in)justice

We have a new paper published today in Energy Research & Social Science.

Highlights

  • Energy professionals and citizens hold diverse values on algorithm design, governance and the energy transition generally.
  • Differences in how values are interpreted and which values are emphasised suggest future points of conflict (and injustice).
  • Systemic issues raised both down and upstream of the technology suggest distributed responsability ill suited to centralised governance.
  • Our focus on responsibility and justice reorients the problem to re-design rather than accommodation.

Pre-print is freely available below and the published paper is available at https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1ely67tZ6ZxQoB

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Local network pricing and community storage a powerful combo: ANU

If networks could charge for localised use of their service, all customers in areas with high PV and community-scale batteries would pay lower bills … with no cost to the network, research shows.

Is rooftop solar a problem in the suburbs? Apparently so, with rising PV exports prompting falls in feed-in tariffs, plans for export charges in Adelaide and deployment of community-scale batteries in many cities.

As the grid transitions away from coal, it seems as though rooftop solar is part of the solution and part of the problem at the same time. Is there a simple solution that could see all that excess solar energy shared equitably and leave customers better off?

Yes, there is. Or there could be, if networks were allowed more flexibility in how they charge for their services.

Full story in ecogeneration

PhD opening – Clean energy solutions on the Great Barrier Reef

We are looking for a PhD scholar to work as part of a multi-party project on cooling – and thereby saving – the Great Barrier Reef.

The PhD project will contribute to the development of clean energy systems that power the equipment that increases the thickness of marine clouds above the reef. These systems may feature solar photovoltaics, wind power, bio fuels, wave power, batteries and other technologies. The project will assess the technical, economic, and social feasibility of these technologies and design systems to meet the needs of the reef cooling applications.

The student will work closely with the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU (www.bsgip.com), as well as researchers at Southern Cross University and the broader Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (see https://gbrrestoration.org/program/cooling-and-shading/).

Full application details are here: https://cecs.anu.edu.au/research/student-research-projects/clean-energy-solutions-great-barrier-reef-phd-project-0

Feature on ABC TV Catalyst program – a childhood dream

ABC TV’s Catalyst program was one of my favorite TV shows growing up, so it was a bit of a dream to get to be a part of the recent episode about the transformation of the electricity system.

The episode did a fantastic job, covering a huge range of the interesting developments underway across the system and the country, explaining the crucial facts and trends, and presenting everything in interesting, engaging and understandable ways.

So, I’d highly recommend giving watching here https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/the-grid-powering-the-future/13491654

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Solar Analytics acquires SunTenants

Solar Analytics – which specialises in data and monitoring devices – has expanded its business into offering solar for renters, launching Solar for Rentals, following its acquisition of Sydney-based start-up SunTenants earlier in the year.

The Solar for Rentals offering includes a calculator that can be used by both tenants and landlords to estimate the value of a rooftop solar installation and determine what a “fair” increase to a property’s rent may be.

When paired with Solar Analytics system performance monitoring dashboard, Solar for Renters is able to provide a transparent platform for both landlords and tenants that should help breakdown the confusion that can come with installing a solar system on a rental property.

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One Step Off The Grid – SuRF project announcement

A new project led by the Australian National University will assess the feasibility of transitioning regional New South Wales communities from grids exposed to bushfires and other natural disasters to a resilient network of islandable renewables and battery-based microgrids.

The Southcoast Microgrid Reliability Feasibility (SµRF) project was last week named as one of 20 projects around Australia to be awarded a share of $25.6 million in funding via round two of the federal government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.

The project is being led the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU in partnership with the Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA), network company Essential Energy, and technology company Zepben.

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