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Features Zurich, Switzerland 14-01-2021

3 min read

Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ donated simulator will help boost Northern Territory renewables

Hitachi ABB Power Grids legacy technology is supporting research and training to drive renewables in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has donated its Microgrid Control Systems Testing Facility to Charles Darwin University (CDU) to enable industry and government to continue to ensure the reliable flow of energy throughout the Northern Territory and further integrate renewable energy sources.

The facility, which is located at the University’s Smart Energy Hub in Darwin, will form part of its new Energy and Resources Institute (ERI), developing world-class expertise in the energy and mining sectors.

The power station simulator was originally built to simulate and troubleshoot power issues in the Northern Territory, including the integration of large amounts of solar energy, and the seamless transition to local supply when the power systems were either overloaded or disconnected after natural hazards such as lightning strike. The research from this facility played a key role in the initial research and development of the PowerStore Battery and control systems still in use today within our Grid Edge Solutions business.

 “The major challenge in achieving a high proportion of renewable energy (especially solar PV) in power grids is the instability and unreliability of the grid due to the intermittent and hard-to-predict nature of the renewable sources” said Professor Shuresh Thennadil from Charles Darwin University. “

“In order to achieve the 50% Northern Territory Government target and progress further to net zero emissions, it is essential to develop innovative methods that can deliver safe and stable operation of high-penetration renewable energy grids. Using this facility, we can conduct scenario-testing of an energy system from anywhere in the world.”

“The capabilities of this testing facility are unique and will assist CDU to address the challenges that come with incorporating multiple forms of renewable generation needed to move toward a carbon neutral energy future“ said Bernard Norton, Managing Director – Australia,at Hitachi ABB Power Grids.  

“Hitachi ABB Power Grids has deep roots here in Australia in developing technology that will help foster innovation and deliver cleaner, more resilient and flexible power systems as part of the energy transition, and to meet increased electrification needs locally and across the globe.”

The ERI’s research using the facility will be highly relevant not only for the Northern Territory, particularly remote areas in which where there are multiple energy inputs, but also for other parts of Australia and the world.  CDU is also exploring opportunities to use the testing facility as a training tool for engineers and operators of Remote Area Power Systems.  

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