Industry and academia combine to develop energy transition hub


Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology (SUT) has partnered with Germany-based developer Siemens to set up a $5.2 million (USD 3.6 million) “Energy Transition Hub” (Hub) at SUT’s Hawthorne campus.

A statement from Siemens describes the Hub’s aim to be “a future energy grid laboratory accessible to students and industry.”

By using Siemens open digital business platform Siemens Xcelerator, the Hub can be used as a “digital twin of energy grids,” or to “map scenarios, research new findings, develop original and creative hypotheses, and test results.”

The statement goes on to say that as a digital twin of the National Energy Market (NEM), it can be used by to run simulations.

SUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Karen Hapgood said “Australia’s ambitious carbon reduction targets need a multi-pronged approach by industry, research and government.”

Hapgood noted the Hub will work on a variety of technologies across the green energy sector, but stressed that “We need change fast, and the Siemens-Swinburne team will focus on taking ideas to market – where they can make the most impact as quickly as possible.”

Simens said its PSS software will feature in the Energy Transition Hub’s planning stations. PSS is a software used widely by industry.

Image: Siemens

Education is key

The Hub offers great educational potential for Australia’s future energy workforce. While focused on R&D and commercialisation projects, Siemens says it will also deliver short courses for industry professionals and make its software and industry experience available to Swinburne students in engineering technology courses.

“Collaboration between industry and academia is critical to driving better outcomes on key topics of national importance such as the energy transition,” said Siemens Australia and New Zealand CEO Peter Halliday.

Lastly, the Hub is set to feature Siemens’ microgrid management system including technologies and software used by most utilities and independent system operators like the Australian Energy Market Operator.

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