Manager Future Networks, United Energy
Solar and Storage Orchestration to defer Distribution Augmentation
Hedy Dalvand is the Manager Future Networks at United Energy and responsible for leading and developing future-state network capabilities to manage peak demand and quality of supply; embracing non-network solutions and advanced network capabilities. Hedy holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering majoring in Energy Systems from the University of New South Wales. Hedy has over 14 years’ experience in the field of electricity distribution and generation and is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
United Energy (UE) distributes electricity to more than 680,000 customers across east, south east Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. Ninety per cent of our customers are residential. UE manages a network of 209,000 poles and over 13,000 kilometres of wires. Electricity is received via 78 sub transmission lines at 46 zone stations, where it is transformed from sub transmission voltages to distribution voltages.
Technological advancements and ongoing price reductions in Solar and Storage technologies presents an opportunity for UE to utilise the technology as an alternative to traditional network infrastructure for managing peak demand. Solar Storage technology can be installed in an incremental manner to defer traditional augmentation. Recognising the potential opportunities of residential energy storage, UE along with ARENA initiated a targeted deployment of solar PV and storage (“Project”) at customers’ premises that are connected to constrained (overloaded) distribution substations within the UE distribution network. The Project aligns with multiple ARENA priority areas for new investments including “Integrating renewables and grids” and “fringe-of-grid and network constrained areas”.
The Project has demonstrated capability of Solar and Storage systems as an alternative to traditional augmentation; resulted in peak shaving of residential customer demand profiles; assisted in managing peaks in network demand that are driven by residential customers; provided insights in improving the integration of residential solar PV generation into the distribution network; and assisted in assessing the financial benefits of battery storage to the distribution network and customers. UE will present the Project findings to date which will provide network service providers with confidence to utilise similar solutions to increase efficiency and reduce network costs.