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Smart Grid Smart City

CSIRO expertise is contributing to Australia's first commercial-scale smart grid demonstration project.

  • 11 June 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

The Australian Government has committed up to A$100 million to develop the Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project in partnership with the energy sector.

An EnergyAustralia-led consortium won the bid to build Australia's first commercial-scale smart grid network in New South Wales (NSW).

It will demonstrate an electricity system of the future, which uses information and communications to improve the efficiency of power production, delivery and use.

CSIRO is working with EnergyAustralia to maximise the benefits from smart grid infrastructure and using CSIRO expertise in advanced control systems and artificial intelligence.

Smart grid

A smart grid is a modernised electricity grid that efficiently manages electricity supply and demand.

Smart grids have the potential to transform the way we use energy in our homes and businesses, and allow for greater use of renewable energy in the electricity network.

Smart grids combine advanced communication, sensing and metering infrastructure with existing energy networks.

Smart grids have the potential to transform the way we use energy in our homes and businesses, and allow for greater use of renewable energy in the electricity network.

A smart grid can identify and resolve faults on the electricity grid, automatically self-heal, manage voltage and identify infrastructure that requires maintenance.

Smart grids can also help consumers manage their individual electricity consumption and enable the use of energy efficient 'smart appliances' that can be programmed to run on off-peak power.

Smart city

The demonstration project will deploy a live, integrated, commercial size smart grid in the Newcastle area, with parts of the trial also conducted in Newington, Sydney's central business district (CBD), Ku-ring-gai and Scone, NSW.

The Newcastle project

This trial will showcase the future of electricity networks in Australia that will lead to Australia-wide advances in energy management and greater uptake of renewable energy.

It will involve:

  • new generation smart meters will be rolled out to 50 000 homes at five sites in Newcastle, Scone, the Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai and Newington
  • around 15 000 households will become 'smart homes', trialling in-house displays and websites that track electricity and water use, costs and CO2 emissions
  • households in Scone will participate in battery storage trials, becoming virtual power stations for green energy
  • smart sensors will be fitted to the electricity network to allow earlier fault detection and repair, including self-healing of some faults.
  • renewable energy and battery storage trials will see power generated locally in buildings in Sydney's CBD
  • Sydney City Council's fleet of 20 electric vehicles will test battery storage and smart charging points built in public areas to test how electric cars can be charged from multiple locations on the grid.

EnergyAustralia consortium members

EnergyAustralia consortium members include:

  • IBM
  • GE Energy
  • AGL
  • Sydney Water
  • Hunter Water
  • Transgrid
  • Newcastle City Council
  • NSW Government.

Read more about CSIRO's work in Efficient energy management.