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New interactive map shows grid hotspots for renewable energy projects

Network Opportunity Maps are promised to provide consistent, transparent annual planning data to identify opportunities for distributed generation, energy storage and other non-network solutions. (Photo credit: Energy Network Australia)

Technology will help energy network businesses further advance renewable energy project integration into the national energy grid.

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has teamed-up with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to release The Network Opportunity Maps, which show parts of the national electricity grid where it is ‘constrained’ and has challenges coping with new connections.

ENA said the maps will make it easier to find the most efficient areas for new renewable projects and help manage demand for electricity better. They also contain information that could help networks avoid unnecessary costs associated with traditional above-ground poles and wires.

“The network opportunity maps are a valuable resource for measuring and tracking areas that would most benefit from renewable energy investment or alternative demand management programs,” ENA CEO Andrew Dillon said.

“They are a great tool that identify how we can build an increasingly responsive grid for new energy services without high infrastructure spend.”

The maps are the culmination of a three-year project by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS and ENA. Funding has been provided through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, New South Wales Government, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Ergon Energy, AusNet Services, Powerlink, ElectraNet and Transgrid.

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