Ergon Energy has officially opened a new $6 million energy R&D facility in Cairns, described by the Queensland government as one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the nation.
The Microgrid and Isolated Systems Test (MIST) Facility run by state-owned Ergon would play an important role in integrating renewable energy and new technology into Queensland’s power networks.
“The state-of-the-art technology housed here allows for the complex testing of solar and batteries, microgrids, standalone power systems, even hydrogen energy storage and carbon reduction,” said trade and investment minister Cameron Dick.
Ergon had spent a decade in R&D work on national standards for residential solar PV systems and batteries at a smaller innovation lab, which had been incorporated into the newly-opened facility, said the Queensland government in a statement on Monday.
The facility was designed by architects Clarke and Prince and engineering consultants Aurecon, and built by Osborne Construction Solutions and Babinda Electrics.
MIST includes a supercomputer which is used for real-time digital simulations and a large array of connection options, and is capable of complex testing for systems up to a megawatt.
“Testing in simulated conditions before you deploy saves [time] and money, which is especially important for rural and remote communities,” said Alan Louis, the facility’s Principal Engineer for Technology Innovation.
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