Following successful trials across sites around Newcastle and Sydney, Energy Australia this week announced that it had commenced the next stage of its smart grid roll-out – installation of a 4G WiMAX wireless network that will transmit information between smart meters located in households and EnergyAustralia’s back-end systems. The spectrum for this network is being provided by Wireless Broadband Australia (WBA) – a Seven Group Holdings Limited company.
According to Energy Australia Managing Director George Maltabarow, the 4G network “will allow communication with up to 2 million smart devices on the electricity grid”.
The 4G wireless network is required to transmit real-time data from sub-stations and field devices back to the Energy Australia IT systems to enable provision of useful, real-time information to support faster responses to power outages, potential changes in the grid from renewable energy and electric vehicles, and provide consumers with better information about their energy use to make better decisions about how they use appliances in their homes.
4G sites have already been established at Gan Gan Hill at Nelson Bay and at EnergyAustralia sites at Broadmeadow, Merewether, Mayfield West, The Hill, Wallsend, Lidcombe and Homebush.
The network will be progressively rolled out once suitable sites have been surveyed and identified with the next sites planned being EnergyAustralia substations at Lane Cove, Leightonfield, Bass Hill and Meadowbank in Sydney.