Project SHIELD

SHIELD (Synchronising Heterogeneous Information to Evaluate Limits for DNSP’s) is an ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) funded project, attempting to tackle one of the biggest obstacles on the road towards more Distributed Energy Resources (DER), especially rooftop solar.

Australia now has in excess of 2.5 million households with Solar PV (DER) installed and in a world shifting to renewable energy and alternative energy sources at a rapid pace, the expectation is that many more households with have solar in the coming years. The Project seeks to address a question which relates to a households ability to continue to export the energy generated by solar and the networks ability to continue to provide electricity to the grid – what level of measurement data is required to allow for an accurate assessment of how much DER can be connected safely without additional network investment?

Luceo Energy leads a consortium of five companies within the Project, including Ergon Energy, Energex, Essential Energy and GridQube. By utilising an array of current data sources, coupled with Luceo Energy’s ‘Luceo Platform’ and GridQube’s ‘State Estimation Software System,’ a safe and reliable determination of networks available hosting capacity can be made.

In this way, Distributed Network Providers (DNSPs) like consortium members Energex, Ergon Energy and Essential Energy, have the opportunity to move from static, conservative limitations to a more accurate determination of those limitations, based on data. This has the ability to allow network operators to not only better manage the flow of DER, but to also better plan or defer network investment or upgrades, to the benefit of customers.

Project Shield on ARENA

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PV Magazine

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The intention is to help networks make data-driven decisions around how much solar they can accomodate on each of their “feeders” (basically a part of the network) before upgrades need to be made. It’s about giving networks a safe “operating envelope” so they don’t have to constrain customers' solar exports. The project also has safety benefits, allowing the sources of outages to be detected more quickly and accurately, as well as help with voltage management. “Once you have visibility and you have notifications and alerts, your operational efficiency as the operator is significantly improved,” said Luceo Energy CEO, Patrick Matweew.

Bella Peacock, Journalist PV Magazine, August 4 2021

Finding solutions to increase DER within low voltage networks

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