Penny Wong,
Minister of Climate
Change, Energy
Efficiency and Water
 
Sydney and Canberra, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- June 8, 2010 - A consortium led by EnergyAustralia has been selected to implement the Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project, which will build the first commercial scale smart grid in Australia.

The project, to commence in mid-2010, will receive up to Au$100 million (US$81 million) from the government and will be implemented in the New South Wales city of Newcastle. Other parts of the trial will be conducted in Scone, Homebush, Ku-ring-gai and the Sydney CBD.

The project is intended as a demonstration of smart grid technologies and applications. These will include customer applications such as in-home displays as well as others such as fault detection, isolation and restoration. Distributed storage will also be trialed, as will substation and feeder monitoring and electric vehicles.

“Smart grids are critical in the fight against climate change, as they have enormous potential to improve the efficiency of our electricity sector and transform the way we use energy in our homes and businesses,” said climate change, energy efficiency and water minister Penny Wong, making the announcement. “If smart grid applications are adopted around Australia they could deliver a reduction of 3.5 Mt of carbon emissions per annum.”

As part of the project smart meters will be rolled out to 50,000 homes at five sites in Newcastle, Scone, the Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai and Newington. Around 15,000 households will become “smart homes” trialing in-home displays and websites that track electricity and water use, costs and CO2 emissions, while households in Scone will participate in battery storage trials.

In addition the rollout of 12,000 smart sensors across EnergyAustralia’s electricity network will be fast-tracked to allow earlier fault detection and repair, including self-healing of some faults.

“Winning the Smart Grid, Smart Cities bid is an exciting opportunity to expand our smart grid rollout even further, at a much faster rate and on a greater scale than we’ve seen,” said EnergyAustralia MD George Maltabarow.

The location of Smart Grid, Smart City was chosen to provide a reasonable representation of the wider grid to produce credible results that can inform broader industry-led adoption of smart grids in Australia. The demonstration area includes urban, suburban, and rural areas and contains diverse network, geographic, climatic and customer characteristics.

Other participants in the consortium are the CSIRO, IBM Australia, AGL, GE Energy, TransGrid, Newcastle City Council and the NSW government.