Energy Networks Australia endeavours to regularly pursue important research and development projects for the benefit of the energy network industry. To service the future needs of the energy network industry, particularly given the scale of industry transformation unfolding, Energy Networks Australia has developed a more coordinated approach to traditional industry research, development and innovation.
Energy Networks Australia’s primary vehicle for this new coordinated scheme is known as the Australian Strategic Technology Program (ASTP). The ASTP primarily provides funding for university post-graduate research projects which have the potential to bring about improvements in asset management and network performance for electricity utilities, as well as exploring “non-network” solutions, and is a collaboration between Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Power Institute.
The ASTP Committee comprises of representatives from electrical distribution and transmission companies around Australia, with objectives to:
- Facilitate academic research activity in Australia, that will enhance the effectiveness of asset management and the network performance of electricity network assets;
- Encourage the development of practical solutions to improve electricity network performance, for both reliability of supply and power quality; and
- Stimulate the development of technology solutions for asset management and network performance problems from a range of private industry suppliers and universities.
Universities specialised in Power Engineering undertake a survey on their research capabilities, and based these results, university research skills are aligned to the priority network themes. Under the 2017-2018 ASTP, four projects were chosen depending on issues and themes that were of highest priorities to all networks. The 2017-2018 ASTP project titles and universities (based on research capabilities) are as follows:
- Network Sensing by University of Queensland
- Management of Voltages in Low Voltage Networks by University of Wollongong
- Conductor Condition Monitoring by University of Queensland; and
- Quantifying Extreme Bushfire Consequences by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
All four projects began in July 2018 and will run for 18 months. A one-team approach was adopted to form a collaboration between universities, research organisations, and networks.
The API have also published their own project updates
- Innovation Initiative Update: December 2018
- API Linking industry and universities to strengthen academic quality - June 2018
- Australian Power Institute and Energy Networks Australia Innovation Initiative - June 2017
To promote knowledge sharing, Energy Networks Australia has developed a database known as Knowledge Bank, which is an online library of resources available to network members and researchers. The knowledge bank database allows sharing of research, asset management and other relevant knowledge between member organisations and research organisations. More information and registration details can be found at: https://www.energynetworksresearch.com.au.