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Meridian Energy & University of Melbourne receive $2.1 million grant to improve forecasting at wind farms

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Meridian Energy & University of Melbourne receive $2.1 million grant to improve forecasting at wind farms
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At Powershop we’re committed to continual innovation. From our demand response program Curb Your Power to our partnership with new technologies like Reposit, we aim to be at the forefront of new and exciting advancements in the energy industry.

The latest in innovation news is that our parent company – Meridian Energy – has received a grant of more than $2.18 million from ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency) as part of its Advancing Renewables Program to execute a project with the University of Melbourne to develop a real-time wind forecasting model – utilising state of the art LIDAR technology – to improve the forecasting accuracy of our Australian wind farms.

LIDAR systems are able to measure the speed of incoming wind before it interacts with wind turbines allowing wind farms to effectively forecast output. At present, forecasting from the current technology provides limited insight into the oncoming wind conditions, demonstrating the need to forecast accurately and further in advance to benefit the grid, the energy market and the consumer.

What’s the benefit of this?

The project will allow for further and more accurate forecasting of wind outputs at each of Meridian’s wind farms. Accurately forecasting and the ability to forecast further into the future allows for the market operator, AEMO, to accommodate for the intermittent nature of wind. Knowing how much wind energy the grid can count on and when.

What does this mean for customers?

Successfully forecasting outputs at wind farms leads to more effective management of supply and demand across the energy grid – knowing how much energy will be generated and when. This results in lower operational costs, allowing for the market operators to move more dynamically with accurate forecasting which in turn results in lower energy costs for consumers.

What does this mean for the planet?

The more effectively we can forecast wind generation the more reliable it becomes for the grid – increasing demand for this clean and reliable form of generation. The more wind farms generate clean energy, the less dirty energy we have in the grid, resulting in a very happy Mother Earth! Read more about wind energy here.

Our CEO, Ed McManus is thrilled with the grant from ARENA to get this beneficial project underway. “This project will lead to a more efficient energy market which means AEMO will be better able to manage the intermittency of wind energy as it continues to increase its share of generation. If each wind farm is able to accurately forecast its output we will be able to better manage the supply and demand of energy across the grid resulting in lower operational costs and lower energy costs for consumers.”

We can’t wait to see the positive impact of this project on the market, our customers and, of course, the planet.

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