Griffith Hack Clean & Sustainable Technologies

June 8, 2010, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Feature

Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water
Minister for Resources and Energy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Tel 02 6277 7920 Fax 02 6273 7330
7 June 2010


Newcastle will be the site of Australia‟s first commercial-scale smart grid, in a project that will help Australians to save energy, connect renewable energy to the grid and to tackle climate change.

To commence in mid 2010, the $100 million Smart Grid Smart City demonstration project in Newcastle is expected to lead to Australia-wide advances in energy efficiency.

Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, today announced in Newcastle that a consortium, led by Energy Australia, was the winning bidder. The main demonstration site will be in the city of Newcastle, with other parts of the trial to be conducted in Scone, Homebush, Ku-ring-gai and the Sydney CBD.

Senator Wong said Smart Grids could give Australian households and businesses the tools to reduce their energy use and energy bills into the future.

“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,” Senator Wong said.

“Smart Grids give households the ability to manage their own energy use, as they give consumers information about how much energy they are using and the costs at any time.

“Consumers can also use Smart Grids with energy efficient „smart appliances‟ that can be set to run on off-peak power.

“If smart grid applications are adopted around Australia they could deliver a reduction of 3.5 megatonnes of carbon emissions per annum.”

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, said the Energy Australia consortium would test smart grid technologies and ensure their suitability for Australian conditions.

“This demonstration project will provide information on the costs and benefits of smart grid technologies and applications that industry needs to make the right decisions in implementing this technology,” Mr Ferguson said.

“A smart grid can identify and resolve faults on the electricity grid, manage voltage and identify infrastructure that requires maintenance.”

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, said the Smart City, Smart Grid initiative would also explore synergies between smart grid technologies and the National Broadband Network.

“This project is an important starting point as we move to ensure Australia gains maximum value from our broadband investments,” Senator Conroy said.

Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, and Newcastle MP Sharon Grierson said the project would give Newcastle households the ability to manage and better understand their own energy use.

“Households in Newcastle will be able to access information about the amount of energy used at any time in their home and the cost,‟‟ Mr Combet said.

“This project will put Newcastle on the world stage when it comes to Smart Grid technologies.‟

Senator Wong commended the efforts of the unsuccessful bidders for the Smart Grid project.

“The quality of applications for this project was extremely high, with all bidders for the project putting considerable time and effort into their proposals,‟ Senator Wong said.

The Energy Australia consortium includes IBM Australia, AGL, GE Energy, TransGrid, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government.


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