Energy networks welcome focus on grid reliability

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the announcement of a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund by the Commonwealth Government.

The fund will include investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure and grid stabilising technologies.

Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dillon said today’s announcement is further recognition that energy networks will play a key role in enabling a sustainable energy future.

“The challenge we face is not just how much electricity is being produced, but how to efficiently get it to our customers,” Mr Dillon said.

“Electricity networks are the enablers of a reliable and sustainable future.

“Transmission networks are the electricity super-highways, already transporting record levels of solar and wind while connecting firming technologies such as pumped hydro and batteries.

“More transmission infrastructure and interconnection between states are essential to support renewable power generation, keep electricity reliable and link markets to keep customer costs down.”

Mr Dillon also said the rapid rise in distributed energy resources, particularly household solar, was putting the lower voltage distribution network under unprecedented pressure.

“Our grid is increasingly becoming a two-way flow of electricity, with millions of households becoming small generators feeding back into a network that was never designed to operate that way,” Mr Dillon said.

“This fund may create opportunities for further investment in digital technologies that will make our distribution grids the platforms of a smarter energy future.”

Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Energy Market Operator are working on the Open Energy Networks Project to plan for a future grid with more distributed energy resources.