"Australia’s power grid was built to transport power from coal-fired power
stations or the Snowy Hydro scheme to large cities and industrial precincts.
The large transmission lines were designed with generation supply and demand,
the shortest routes, and cost in mind.
But this ageing grid isn’t designed to cope with a green future where power
flows into the grid from solar farms and windfarms on land and out at sea. To
cope, Australia’s energy market operator is proposing over 10,000 kilometres of
new transmission lines, linking major renewable precincts with the cities.
The problem? No one likes having large, unsightly lines built near them.
There’s already been strong pushback from communities near sites slated for new
power lines. Community resistance has now forced the federal government to
launch a review of how transmission projects are approved.
The good news is, some alternatives to large-scale transmission lines have come
of age. Grid-scale battery banks have already proven their use to store
intermittent flows of green electricity for later. And we may be able to build
more lightly if we adopt dynamic line rating, which means letting more power
flow through when, say, cold winds cool the lines and stop them overheating.
Western Australia – which has its own grid – is having success with microgrids
as a way to avoid having to send power long distances."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics