ANU opens new lab dedicated to testing distributed energy resources


The Australian National University says its new Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Lab will provide a “fail-safe power system” to securely develop and test technologies and systems before deploying them into the live grid.

The lab was officially opened on Tuesday by the Australian Capital Territory’s Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, who said the facility will “cement” the state’s position a leader in renewable energy innovation and collaboration, as well as unlock new opportunities in the economy and jobs markets.

The lab was announced back in 2019 and supported by $1.5 million in funding from the ACT government. The project of designing and constructing the facility was a partnership between ITP Renewables, University of New South Wales Canberra, Evoenergy and ANU.

“Now more than ever, Australia must design an energy system fit for the 21st century,” ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said.

“As Australia moves away from large centralised fossil-fuel powered generators to a decentralised grid consisting of a vast array of distributed renewable energy assets, we need to find innovative ways to enable this vast amount of renewable energy to safely and effectively enter the electricity grid.

“It is through the research carried out in the Distributed Energy Resources Lab that we, as a society, will be equipped with the technology and capabilities that will help smooth out and accelerate this vital energy transition,” Professor Schmidt added.

The ANU lab opens just a few weeks after Victoria’s Deakin University attracted million dollars of funding from both the state and federal governments for two new research and development facilities, one dedicated to battery research and the other to hydrogen.

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