New technology is transforming the way we produce, use and manage electricity. Here’s where you can get up-to-speed with this emerging technology and what we’re doing to support it.
Our projects and trials show you some of the new technology in action.
Solar energy is generated when the light from the sun is collected and converted by solar panel cells into electricity. Solar power systems generally consist of three main components:
- Solar panels – create an electric current when sunlight falls on the solar cells.
- Inverters – convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC), ready for use in a home or business, and for sharing with others on the network.
- Meters – measure the energy imported and exported to and from the network.
Installing solar panels can help you generate your own energy from the sun, reduce your use of energy from the grid, and export excess energy to the grid for other customers to use.
We want to double the amount of solar on our network by 2025 and there are various projects and trials underway to help us achieve this.
Batteries work with solar panels and can help you store the excess energy you produce in the day, to use at night or during an outage. With batteries you can maximise the in-house use of electricity generated by your solar panels. Instead of exporting excess energy to the grid, you can store it to use later when power is usually more expensive. Depending on how they are set up by your installer, batteries can also provide emergency back-up power during power outages.
Virtual Power Plants
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is made up of home solar and battery systems, spread over hundreds or thousands of homes. These are coordinated to operate in a way that provides services to the electricity market (much like a traditional power station) and they can help customers unlock greater value from their battery systems. Our projects and trials show how we’re working with VPP operators to ensure benefit for customers, and what impact it will have on the network.
Large embedded generators
Other connections to our network include larger generators such as commercial rooftop solar, solar farms, rotating generation units, batteries, or combinations of these.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by an electric motor with a battery, instead of a conventional petrol or diesel engine. They are a quiet, efficient, and low-carbon alternative, and have the potential to grow very rapidly in Australia when the cost of ownership drops below traditional internal combustion engine vehicles by the mid-2020s.
Electric vehicles can be charged when not in use, at home, at workplaces or at public charging stations at any time. They present a great opportunity to deliver more energy through our network and lower the unit cost of electricity distribution.
A microgrid is made up of generators, batteries and renewable energy sources (such as solar), shared between a number of customers. These microgrids can be connected to the network but can also operate independently so power can still be accessed during an outage (“stand alone power system”). A microgrid could be installed and used by a single customer, a small number of houses, or by an entire community.