Cross border interconnection capability has been increased, and extra capacity unlocked, due to the installation of innovative power flow control on a key interconnector between New South Wales and Victoria.
In what is one of the first installations of its kind in Australia, Victorian transmission system operator AusNet Services deployed SmartValve™ technology on the Jindera-Wodonga line, where it is routing power flow onto the underutilised western 330 kV transmission corridor.
SmartValve technology works by intelligently controlling the flows of power across the network, in real-time. It pushes power off overloaded lines and pulls power on to underutilised lines; balancing power flows across multiple lines and relieving constraints that limit cross-border flows.
By deploying SmartValve on the Jindera-Wodonga 330 kV line, the interregional export capability from New South Wales to Victoria will be increased by around 15 MW, reducing the risk of supply shortfalls in Victoria following the recent retirement of fossil fuel-based generation.
Installation of the technology was a joint project between AusNet Services and global power technology company, Smart Wires.
Announcing the project's successful implementation, AusNet Services Executive General Manager of Network Management & Digital, Steven Neave said the use of innovative solutions will be key for utilities as they address challenges around increasing and changing demand, while simultaneously working towards the energy transition.
"AusNet's focus is delivering safe and reliable power to the communities we serve. This means using innovative solutions to foster reliability, affordability, and a sustainable energy future for Victoria.
"Advanced technological solutions like SmartValve enable us to unlock extra capacity on our existing network - ensuring stable, reliable supply, more renewable energy, and less requirement for new infrastructure.
"Essentially this technology is improving utilization of our current network; the result being lower prices for our customers, less impact on the environment and our communities, and an increase in the amount of renewables we can safely integrate.
Smart Wires' General Manager APAC, Aidan Lawlor commended AusNet Services for their innovative approach and commitment to Australia's energy transition.
"The success of this project shows the impact innovative power technology is having, and companies like AusNet are at the forefront of this important change," he said.
"They're taking an alternative, intelligent approach to reducing congestion and increasing the amount of renewables that can be accommodated, and in doing so are providing important benefits for their customers and the Australian energy landscape.
"The energy transition is here - it's no longer about when, but how. These visionary companies are showing us how, and Smart Wires is proud to partner with them," he said.
In addition to AusNet Services, a further two Australian utilities are in the process of installing Smart Wires' technology on their networks.
"The use of this technology is well established across Europe, the U.S. and Latin America, where it is providing enormous benefits. It's great to see it now creating significant benefits here in Australia," Mr Lawlor said.
About AusNet Services
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, AusNet's purpose is to connect communities with energy and accelerate a sustainable future. AusNet is the largest diversified energy network business in Victoria and owns and operates over $11 billion of regulated and contracted assets. It owns and operates three core regulated networks: electricity distribution, gas distribution and the state-wide electricity transmission network, as well as a significant portfolio of contracted energy infrastructure. It also owns and operates energy and technical services businesses (which trade under the name "Mondo"). AusNet engages over 1,500 employees to service over 1.5 million customers across Victoria and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:AST).
About Smart Wires
Smart Wires is a global power technology company advancing the delivery of affordable, clean electricity worldwide. With our innovative technology and advanced analytics, we maximize the grid's capacity. This means more renewables, at a lower cost and with less disruption to communities and the environment. Smart Wires is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and a global workforce of 200 professionals spread across four continents. Our team collaborates with our customers to achieve their strategic objectives and help them face an uncertain energy future with flexible, high-impact solutions.