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Exploring new technologies to secure Australia’s energy network

The Turnbull Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is investing $300,000 in a breakthrough trial which could see wind farms provide greater reliability to the electricity network.

Under the trial, South Australia’s Hornsdale Stage 2 Wind Farm will be used to see if it can provide Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) to the grid to maintain a balance of supply and demand during a range of power system conditions.

Traditionally, power demand and supply is continuously balanced by procuring FCAS services from thermal generation. When frequency is too low, it is increased by FCAS services to either increase generation or decrease demand. When frequency is too high, it is reduced by FCAS services which lowers generation or increases demand.

This trial is an important step towards the integration of wind and solar technologies into the National Electricity Market as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel in his review of the National Electricity Market highlighted the importance of tighter frequency control for increased security.

The $600,000 project is being led by French renewable energy company, Neoen, in conjunction with international infrastructure investor, John Laing, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The Turnbull Government’s investment in this trial is part of our plan to deliver an affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.