Essential Energy is pursuing the intelligent network (IN) concept in response to changing customer needs, increasing demand for electricity, climate challenges and ageing network infrastructure. The existing electro-mechanical network that served us well last century, will not necessarily serve us well in the future in light of these challenges.
We need to better manage peak demand to offset network capacity constraints, empower consumers to better manage their energy consumption and costs, support the increase in renewable energy generation, and improve business efficiency, while maintaining reliability of supply. We require a flexible and adaptable network to meet the changing needs of our communities and serve us through the digital-age.
These challenges aren’t unique to us. They’re being tackled elsewhere in Australia and around the globe. The electricity supply industry is navigating its way through the most significant transformation it has faced since its inception.
The Intelligent Network will take the current linear supply chain – consisting of a one-way flow of electricity from the generation source, through transmission and distribution networks, to the end consumer - and transform it into a network that is interactive.
Revolutionising the way electricity is generated, delivered and used will be a long-term project. It requires prudent investment today to future-proof the network for tomorrow.
What makes the Intelligent Network so smart?
- Real-time information about the status of the network available on-demand to Essential Energy and customers
- Fewer power interruptions with the intelligent network’s ability to divert power around faults
- Quicker response times leading to reduced duration of power outages with the ability to pin-point faults and directly despatch repair crews
- Improved safety for crews and the community due thanks to automated fault identification and quicker response times
- The ability to manage the increase in renewable energy generation connected to the grid
- Innovative electricity storage solutions will allow customers with solar panels to choose whether they immediately use the electricity they have generated, store it for later use, feed it back into the network, or even work with the network to dispatch the energy at peak times
- Opportunities for new products and services tailored to customer needs
- Greater visibility for customers of their real-time electricity consumption and costs, provided by intelligent metering and supporting technology including IN-Home Displays and online energy portals
- Greater control for customers of their electricity consumption through emerging technologies such as Home-Area-Networks (HAN) that allow appliances to be turned ‘on’ and ‘off’ remotely via computer or smartphone
- The foundation for a new era in customer service and value for money.
Intelligent Network, Smart Grid, Smart Network, Research and Demonstration Centre, Smart House, Smart Meter, Home area network, In home display