Government backs next-generation renewable technology

9 December 2022

A new state-of-the-art sensor technology that enables safer operation of electricity transmission lines and greater penetration of renewables will receive funding from the Australian Government.

The Australian Government will provide more than $732,000 to Infravision Pty Ltd to help develop and trial its Next Generation Line Monitoring System through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The new technology, which can be installed by a drone on transmission lines, uses sensors to deliver real-time information about environmental factors that can affect line capacity, such as wind and high temperatures. 

This information can be used to measure transmission capacity more accurately than traditional methods. The capacity data will enable transmission lines to safely dispatch more electricity, including from cheaper sources like renewables. 

Announcing the funding in Sydney today, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister, said the technology could help ramp up renewable generation and deliver cheaper energy. 

“As Australia transforms into a renewable economy, the Albanese Government is investing in new technologies to help us get there. By 2030 we expect to generate 82% of Australia’s electricity from renewables, the cheapest form of energy, by the end of this decade," Assistant Minister McAlister said. 

“This new technology will help maximise the capacity of existing transmission infrastructure to absorb more renewable electricity and minimise the need to build new transmission. This reduces system costs for the network, and puts downward pressure of prices for households and businesses.”

Infravision is an Australian start-up specialising in high-tech solutions to reduce the risk and cost of installing and maintaining electricity cables. The government’s support for the $1.8 million project will help the start-up work with Transgrid to trial the next-generation system on transmission lines in Western Sydney.

The new system supports other emerging technologies, such as virtual powerlines, being deployed in Australia and can help to reduce risks to the network in real-time during bushfire periods.

“This funding demonstrates we are putting renewables back into ARENA. We are ensuring ARENA is focused on supporting renewables and related technologies to boost renewable generation," Assistant Minister McAllister said.