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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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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New project: Southcoast Microgrid Reliability Feasibility (SµRF)

The Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at the Australian National University, along with project partners Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance, network operator Essential Energy, and technology company Zepben, are delighted by news of successful project funding under the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund (RRCRF) – microgrids 2020-21. 

The Southcoast Microgrid Reliability Feasibility (SµRF) project will engage NSW South Coast Eurobodalla residents, businesses, and Essential Energy in planning the transition from a bushfire exposed grid to a resilient grid of islandable microgrids.  

The project partners will receive $3.125M in funding over three years under the RRCRF to: 

  • conduct community-led design of future energy systems, quantifying the value of reliability;  
  • model the operation of eight microgrids across the region using high-resolution monitoring data and develop a holistic assessment of implementation costs; and 
  • explore business models and regulatory innovations to improve feasibility implementation. 
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Microgrids: how to keep the power on when disaster hits

It’s timely to consider how we can build a better system – one that’s more resilient in times of disaster and also doesn’t contribute, through carbon emissions, to making disasters more frequent.

One part of the solution is more connectedness, so one transmission line being severed is not the crisis it is now.

But just as important is ensuring connectedness isn’t crucial.

This means moving away from centralised systems – powered by a few big generators – to decentralised ones, with many local and small-scale generators. Instead of one big grid, we need many microgrids, interconnected but able to operate independently when necessary.

Full Piece in The Conversation https://theconversation.com/microgrids-how-to-keep-the-power-on-when-disaster-hits-130534