Helping create the
battery of a nation

  • Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Advanced simulation and testing support the large-scale integration of Tasmanian renewable energy into Australia’s national grid

The background

Preparing for an energy transition

To replace 12 GW of coal power retiring from the Australian grid by 2035, more than 40 GW of variable renewable energy sources and 8 GW of “dispatchable” hydro and pumped hydro storage will be required. The island state of Tasmania has 25% higher energy output than mainland Australia, and the ability to deploy pumped hydro systems at 30% lower cost – but the goal of Tasmania becoming the “battery of the nation” relies on the ability to integrate high levels of power electronics-based generation into the grid without compromising security or reliability. Real- time simulation technology is a critical tool in achieving this goal.

Building confidence through simulation and testing

Winnipeg’s RTDS Technologies Inc. is the creator and provider of the RTDS Simulator, the world’s leading real-time power system simulator. This system combines highly modular hardware and advanced proprietary software, allowing engineers to validate the performance of power system devices and de-risk deployment via hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. HIL allows for secure, comprehensive testing of power system protection and control equipment in the safety of a laboratory environment.

The challenge

Integrating a new HVDC link

The Marinus Link, a proposed high-voltage direct- current (HVDC) interconnector, will allow the Australian power system to take full advantage of Tasmania’s world-class renewable resources. Complex interaction issues and instabilities are anticipated due to the existing Basslink interconnector and high penetration of inverter-based generation.

Electromagnetic transient simulation is required to anticipate the interaction between HVDC systems and other assets on the grid.

The solution

Setting the course for future endeavors

Prior to running simulations, the RTDS Simulator’s proprietary software is used to create a detailed model of the power system and power electronics of interest. All the 110 and 220 kV lines in Tasmania are currently modeled on the RTDS Simulator; to meet the need of the Marinus Link project, all 500 kV lines on the Victoria side have been modelled in full EMT detail. This delivers confidence in the performance of the critical systems that will be used to support continuous power provision and drive the renewable energy revolution from Tasmania to mainland Australia. Discover more about RTDS technology solutions.

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