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Energy Queensland to build energy laboratory in Cairns


Construction has begun this week on an industry-leading, purpose built laboratory in Cairns to research new energy technologies.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said a new 300 square metre Innovation Laboratory facility, will be built by Energy Queensland, within an existing Ergon operations workshop in Bungalow.

“Ergon Energy is currently testing a range of battery storage options including products from Panasonic, LG, Fronius and Tesla in a temporary facility in Cairns. The new laboratory will enable our experts to undertake this important research in a new modern facility,” Mr Bailey said.

“The laboratory and workshop will cement Energy Queensland as a leader in energy innovation and research into both the household and network benefits of new technologies, including battery storage.

“This investment is part of a broader strategy by Energy Queensland to ensure our electricity network can connect more solar PV generation, integrate safely and efficiently with battery storage options, and support other energy technologies as they emerge.

“This is Energy Queensland in action bringing the smarts of Ergon to a new research and testing facility that will help deliver the best possible outcomes for customers as new and innovative products roll out across Queensland.

“I believe the work done at the (delete Energy Queensland)Innovation Laboratory will be critical to advance Queensland’s – and no doubt Australia’s – energy future.

“The Palaszczuk Government has a leading role in the preparation of Australian Standards for safe energy storage and renewable energy systems through the COAG Energy Council, and research performed in this new laboratory will ensure we remain at the leading edge of these developments.”

Energy Queensland Interim CEO Terry Effeney said the new laboratory facility will enable these trials and several others to continue and expand, including the utilisation of a 63 kilowatt solar PV array on the existing roofing structure above the laboratory space.

“The $700,000 project is expected to be fully-functional by the start of 2017,” he said.

“The (delete Energy Queensland) Innovation Laboratory will become a very important part of planning for future networks and will allow our best and brightest to focus on the future of energy options for customers.

“Ergon expects to announce industry-leading research projects to be based at the new laboratory over the next 12 months.”

Ergon’s Technology Development team of electrical engineers and technicians have helped in finalising the design of the new laboratory to ensure it can cater for various types of energy system trials – new advanced technology as well as common household equipment.

Fifty thousand people, including 211 school groups, recently got a first-hand look at the work Ergon is doing in the renewables space by visiting the Energy Queensland Smart Energy Education House which was unveiled at this year’s Ekka.

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