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Issue #25, February 2020

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

THE ADVANCE OF INTELLIGENT ENERGY

NETWORKS

UNIVERSITY UNVEILS GIANT WATER BATTERY

DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS

FROM DRONES

DAVID RYAN ON TAKING

THE TOP JOB AT SA WATER WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS


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Issue #25, February 2020

welcome

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

UTILITY MAGAZINE

THE ADVANCE OF INTELLIGENT ENERGY

NETWORKS

FROM THE

UNIVERSITY UNVEILS GIANT WATER BATTERY

DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS

FEBRUARY 2020

FROM DRONES

EDITOR

DAVID RYAN ON TAKING

THE TOP JOB AT SA WATER WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS

Cover image highlights our focus on smart networks.

F

7,735 This publication has been independently audited under the AMAA’s CAB Total Distribution Audit. Audit Period: 1 April to 30 September 2019

Published by

Monkey Media Enterprises ABN: 36 426 734 954 204/23–25 Gipps St Collingwood VIC 3066 P: (03) 9988 4950 monkeymedia.com.au info@monkeymedia.com.au utilitymagazine.com.au info@utilitymagazine.com.au ISSN: 2203-2797

Editor Charlotte Pordage Assistant Editor Siobhan Day Journalist Lauren 'LJ' Butler Designer Manager Alejandro Molano Designers Jacqueline Buckmaster Danielle Harris Business Development Manager Rima Munafo Publisher Chris Bland Managing Editor Laura Harvey Operations Manager Kirsty Hutton

February 2020

ISSUE 25

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or utilities, transforming operations and systems with digital technologies can create substantial value, offering both a reduction in operating expenses and efficiency gains. However, the working methods of the typical utility are built around safeguarding large, regulated assets and minimising operational risks. Because of this mindset, utilities are often cautious about adopting digital ways of working that involve frequent experimentation which could, in turn, have unintended consequences. With this in mind, the February 2020 edition of Utility contains a number of features designed to help you with implementing digital technologies that have the potential to accelerate and transform your organisation. This is also the theme of Utility’s upcoming event, Digital Utilities 2020, taking place from 19-20 March in Sydney. Recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that most utilities have achieved only a moderate level of digitisation – well below that of other industries. Significant potential remains for utilities to digitise their assets further and deepen their digital engagement with customers. Moving beyond pilots and delivering transformation at scale is still a challenge for the industry, but the transition to a digital utility is inevitable for all organisations who wish to thrive in the digital economy. UK Power Networks, the company that keeps the lights on for more than 18 million customers in London and the south-east of England, is one organisation implementing digital technologies as part of everyday business operations and its Director of Strategy, Suleman Alli, is the event’s international keynote. You’ll find an article by him in this edition of the magazine – after reading it, I’m definitely looking forward to his presentation. Meanwhile in Australia, Jemena is participating in the Creating Solar Friendly Neighbourhoods project to

further increase the uptake of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), with the trial in Greenvale involving 110 Jemena customers. The trials, which are being undertaken in Jemena and AusNet Services’ electricity distribution networks, will use new technologies to improve the ability of network operators to monitor the lowvoltage network, while intelligent systems proactively manage grid power and voltage to increase DER penetration. The University of the Sunshine Coast has also been focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities, and has developed a solar-powered thermal energy storage tank, or ‘water battery’, to operate its air conditioning systems – saving over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and cutting campus grid energy use by 40 per cent. Exciting things are happening in the water industry too. Since 2017, Melbourne Water’s drone program has delivered a myriad of benefits across the business and has grown to become an integral part of its business-as-usual operations. In his article, Heath McMahon, Team Leader, Geospatial, Data and Surveying Services at Melbourne Water, explains that the real smarts in the technology come from how the resultant observations can create and push data-driven insights. I also had the opportunity to catch up with SA Water’s new Chief Executive, David Ryan, to find out more about his vision for the organisation. It was really interesting to learn what motivated him to take up this leadership role and it sounds like the water utility will be in excellent hands. I hope to see you at Digital Utilities 2020, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line at charlotte.pordage@monkeymedia.net.au if you have any thoughts or feedback on the magazine. Charlotte Pordage Editor

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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CONTENTS

24

42

34

DIGITAL UTILITIES

WATER

BIG DATA

A smart grid for all: international insights on the changing energy landscape..................................... 24

Meeting the new requirement for poly welding at Kemerton Lithium Plant gas supply........................... 28

Leveraging big data to enable an intelligent grid.............................. 42

As rooftop solar and batteries become the norm, how to appropriately manage their output becomes an increasing challenge around Australia. We spoke to Suleman Alli, Director of Strategy at UK Power Networks, ahead of his international keynote presentation at Digital Utilities 2020, about the utility’s plans to create the world’s most advanced electricity network control system and how it is maximising the opportunities presented by Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

The go-to supplier for everything piping......................... 30 Compact field unit for water analysis.............................. 32 A new chapter for SA Water........ 34

CYBER SECURITY Rising threats and rising costs – powering towards a cyber resilient utility network.............................. 44 Imagine if you can expand your access control to include the padlocks on your remote assets............................................ 46

Need more chemical storage, but don't have the space?........... 40

76

84

88

DRONES

UTILITY LOCATION

SEWER

Drone technology takes off at Melbourne Water................ 76

Similarities between GPR and EMF in locating utilities....................... 82

At the edge of the cliff: planning for Australia’s aging infrastructure.... 88

Drone trial for Western Power............................. 80

New era for Australia’s iconic Dial Before You Dig program...... 84

A lot happening underground in Logan........................................ 90

Are your excavation practices leaving you exposed?.................. 86

The Triplex Liner System: a sustainable solution................. 94 Energy efficient flow control for pumping................................. 96

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48

60

ISSUE 26

February 2020

70

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

EMBEDDED NETWORKS

MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

A new way to buy electricity and unlock the value of renewable energy........................ 48

Providing greater protection to embedded network customers.... 60

Game-changing technology highlights the risks overhead...... 70

Industry-leading customer focus reaches new heights.................... 52

SWITCHGEAR Playing a pivotal role in Tasmania’s clean energy future...................... 64

Positioning Australia for success: Geospatial Reference System upgrades....................................... 74

SOLAR The ingenious solar project gaining international attention................. 54

Switching things up at a brownfield Alice Springs substation..................................... 66

DISTRIBUTED GENERATION The future of energy: distributed and decentralised........................ 58

Solutions to prevent overheating of critical switchgear.................... 68

102

WOMEN IN UTILITIES Celebrating female leadership in the water industry................... 98 City West Water provides water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to more than one million residents and 40,000 businesses in Melbourne’s central business district, and inner and western suburbs. The utility is proud to have achieved over 50 per cent female representation on its executive leadership team, in a sector where women tend to be underrepresented or clustered in admin roles. Here, we meet the women in charge at the water corporation leading the way in gender diversity – four of which have been recognised in the Top 50 Women in Public Sector Awards. UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

In each issue Welcome from the Editor.........................................................1 A word from Energy Networks Australia.............................. 4 A word from WSAA.................................................................. 6 News briefs............................................................................... 8 Advertisers’ index................................................................ 104 Editorial schedule................................................................ 104

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A WORD FROM ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA ANDREW DILLON

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA

O

perated over a short distance with a relatively low power demand compared with large ships, short-haul ferries are suitable for the integration of batteries where their brief stay at ports allows for charging. Norway is leading the world in e-ferry implementation, exhibited by the launch in August 2019 of the largest plug-in hybrid ferries in the world. With a 5MWh onboard battery storage system, the M/S Color Hybrid has a carrying capacity of 2,000 passengers and 500 cars. In 2015, the Norwegian Ampere ferry was the first to be powered entirely by batteries, with a 95 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as an 80 per cent reduction of operating costs compared with a diesel-powered ferry1.

FIGURE 1. A SELECTION OF BATTERYPOWERED FERRIES CURRENTLY IN OPERATION2

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Number of ferries

FIGURE 2. NUMBER OF HYBRID AND BATTERY-POWERED FERRIES BETWEEN

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CHARGING E-FERRIES FROM THE GRID

OPPORTUNITY FOR E-FERRIES IN AUSTRALIA

In the case of EVs, the main challenge is the unpredictability of charging events, which increases the risk of excessive load demand during peak periods. This is not the case with e-ferries, as their operational time, routes and load demands are known. However, the high-power requirement to charge e-ferries in a short period is the main challenge. One potential solution to tackle this issue is battery storage coupled with the charging station, which is also known as battery-buffered charging. The drawback, however, is the additional investment required for the purchase and maintenance of supplemental equipment such as power converters.

As the decarbonisation of transport is a key motivator for the implementation of e-ferries, the potentially positive environmental impacts would be diminished if fossil fuel-based generation is used to charge. The most sensible source of charging power would be renewable energy sources such as wind or solar. Solar would also capitalise on the buffered charging, where the battery could recharge during peak solar output. The deployment of e-ferries in Sydney is an obvious option, as Sydney’s ferry network comprises a fleet of more than 30 vessels operating around the harbour and along Parramatta River. However, according to a Clean Energy Council Report3, NSW has 15 per cent penetration of renewables, while the highest level of penetration within Australia is in Tasmania at a rate of 95.9 per cent. As such, Tasmania could emerge as a hub for e-ferry transportation within Australia, with about five ferries suitable for battery integration. The Kettering-Bruny Island route south of Hobart comprises two operational ferries, both suitable for battery integration. The advantage is that only one charging station would be necessary to charge both ferries at Kettering. While being low noise and offering a reduction in CO2 emissions, the e-ferries also provide an operational cost saving of more than 51.3 per cent4. Work will need to be done to accommodate the technological advances of e-ferries, but they present numerous advantages to current diesel-powered vessels.

THE BATTERY BUFFER CONCEPT Coupling battery storage systems with a fast (or super) charging station can be an effective solution for network operators and consumers (not only for e-ferries but also for EVs). The onshore battery storage is charged during off-peak periods and low energy price, and discharged during peak periods. As a result, a smoother and more predictable demand is created for network operators, coupled with lower electricity costs for consumers. This charging method helps alleviate stress on the grid created by charging e-ferries. The first successful implementation of such battery-buffered charging stations for e-ferries was for the Norwegian Ampere ferry in 2015. The onshore 260kWh battery slowly recharges from the grid during off-peak or low demand periods.

2013 AND 2018

1 Z. Marina, M. Pocuca and P. Baje, “Environmental and economic benefits of slow steaming,” Transactions on maritime science, vol. 2, 2013. 2 Photo sources: https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/worlds-first-electrical-car-ferry-in-operation https://www.ship-technology.com/features/elektra-finlands-first-hybrid-electric-ferry/ https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:5194818/mmsi:257017920/imo:9811452/vessel:GLOPPEFJORD https://www.maritime-executive.com/magazine/target-2050 3 Clean Energy Council, “Clean Energy Australia Report 2019,” 2019. 4 M. D. Al-Falahi, J. Coleiro, S. Jayasinghe, H. Enshaei, V. Garaniya, C. Baguley and U. Madawala, “Techno-Economic Feasibility Study of Battery Powered Ferries,” in IEEE 4th Southern Power Electronics Conference (SPEC), Singapore, 2018.

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A WORD FROM WSAA W

SAA has released a suite of documents that provide the urban water industry with a commitment to helping achieve a step change in the industry’s health and safety (H&S) performance. The health, safety and wellbeing of our people, communities and workplaces is critical. We strive to be free from harm and injury, both physical and psychological. We are committed to taking a focused and strategic approach to achieving impactful and sustained change. In line with this commitment, we are providing the industry with guidance on the practical steps required to create this change.

Organisations that work both in or with the water industry in operation, maintenance, construction, corporate and program activities face similar health and safety challenges irrespective of where they may be in their health and safety journey. In considering these forces of change, the future of the work environment and through consultation with WSAA members, delivery partners and other key stakeholders, we have determined that the development and advancement of health and safety performance and culture in the water industry is best achieved through two key areas: 1. Water Industry Health and Safety Maturity Model which explores eight key principles that will positively direct the way organisations approach health and safety in the water industry 2. Mental Health Framework which explores eight critical areas to drive change through a pipeline of actions Along with the Maturity Model and Mental Health Framework, we have developed a Health and Safety Leadership Commitment Statement and a Self-Assessment Tool which aim to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement within the principles outlined in the Maturity Model.

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

Application of the content in these documents will help develop physically and mentally healthy workplaces, and promote the industry learning and growing together. Already over 35 of our members have pledged their commitment to the Health and Safety Leadership Commitment Statement.

We strive for a culture that embodies safety such that we, as an industry, are supported to be free from harm and injury, both physical and psychological. To view the full suite of documents, please go to https://www.wsaa.asn.au/publication/safety-priority-program.

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NEWS

Melbourne Water creates Victorian-first

PIPE PROTECTION AND AIR MONITORING DEVICE

A

device the size of a large matchbox will help protect Melbourne Water’s extensive water transfer network of pipes and tanks, and at the same time provide information on air quality, thanks to cutting-edge technology developed in collaboration with Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Melbourne Water created the monitor using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which allows computing devices embedded in everyday objects to measure, send and receive data. It was developed in collaboration with Green Technology Services. The dual-purpose device will alert Melbourne Water to any corrosion in its pipes and tanks, and will be fitted with an air particle counter to monitor air quality, which will help the EPA understand issues such as smoke from bushfires. Melbourne Water’s Team Leader, Automation Delivery, Russell Riding, said the device will be installed inside existing corrosion protection stations positioned alongside Melbourne Water’s main transfer pipelines across the greater metro area. The IoT system will double its benefit to the community as it will be collecting two important and very different sets of information.

“This system will alert our asset managers if any issues with the operation of the corrosion protection systems occur,” Mr Riding said. “This will allow us to get to the affected site quickly and make the necessary repairs sooner, removing hundreds of time-consuming manual inspections we currently perform across our network.” EPA Air Quality Scientist, Gavin Fisher, said the device will enable the authority to better understand how sensors can be used to increase its understanding of air pollution across Melbourne. “Before this innovation we’ve been limited in the ways and places we can collect air quality information,” Mr Fisher said. “This project will allow us to explore new ways of collecting air quality data and information on pollution impacting Melbourne. It will result in a better understanding of how these sensors could be used in the future. “This is an exciting and unique collaboration with Melbourne Water – we’ve obviously partnered on water issues before – but not on air issues.” About two hundred of the IoT monitoring devices will eventually be fitted across Melbourne Water’s pipe network, with the installation of these devices commencing in late 2019/early 2020.

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NEWS

WHAT IT TAKES TO DO BUSINESS WITH UTILITIES Marketing to utilities and government asset owners is arguably harder now than ever before. While the official tender process usually has a clear set of requirements for bid-writers to follow, the reality is that successful bidders will be on the decision makers’ radar long before the tender is announced.

W

e can’t make generalisations across all tenders, but we’ve been in the industry long enough to see that having a great brand reputation before the tender process starts is a positive thing. Building a great brand takes time and effort. Life is easier when you don’t need to introduce yourself, so more and more businesses are putting in the work ahead of time to get themselves known.

THERE’S ALWAYS A PERSON BEHIND ‘BUSINESS TO BUSINESS’ While it’s true that some aspects of B2B marketing are different from marketing to consumers, at the end of the day it’s still a human making the decision, so always target marketing towards the people who have an impact on business decisions. Here’s where it gets tricky – ‘that human’ could hold any number of job titles and have a range of motivations when assessing your business, both formally and informally. Think in terms of an influencer, buyer and end user – your marketing should address all of their concerns eventually, but not at the same time. In order to create or shift your brand reputation, you need to have a range of different content out in the

market. Each one should reinforce your overall brand message, with specific key points included to interest the specific audience you’re targeting with the message. One piece of content might more likely be seen by CFOs, who are concerned about costings. You’ll need a different angle to convince a General Manager of the benefits, as they might be more interested in big picture connections to improve their reputation or that of the business. Project Managers may not strictly be the decision maker, but as they often actually work with your business or products, you can be sure they have an influence on contract outcomes. You want them all on your side as much as possible.

BE SEEN IN A NUMBER OF PLACES Along with understanding that messaging needs to be adapted to the position and interest of the audience, businesses who have successfully built killer brand reputations also know how and where to deliver those messages. We’re not just talking about traditional print advertising here. A successful marketing strategy will include pieces of content designed not only for the people who are likely to consume it, but for the platform it appears on.

Not all decision makers or influencers have time to read white papers or magazines, not all like watching videos or consuming infographics, not all are spending lots of time on social media. But chances are, all of them are doing at least one of these things. Your job is to make sure your marketing is easily accessible to them wherever they are. This is where something like a content suite can be so valuable. It involves taking a message about your business and presenting it in a range of different ways – such as videos, infographics, articles and social media posts – to increase the chance of this message being seen, understood and shifting the market perception of what you can do.

SEE IT IN ACTION In our marketing agency (staffed by the same people who put together Utility magazine), we’ve seen great success creating a combination of articles, infographics and videos for our ongoing clients. They love that by briefing us on a single topic we can create a range of professional pieces to be shared widely in the market. For more information about how your message can be seen by the right people in the industry, contact the team at Monkey Media on info@monkeymedia.com.au

Kirsty Hutton is the Operations Manager of Monkey Media, the business behind Utility. Along with the operations side of the business, she heads up the marketing agency within Monkey Media, and works closely with clients on content, marketing and strategy.

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NEWS

MORE PRIVATISED WATER SERVICES COMING BACK INTO PUBLIC HANDS

T

he Western Australian Government has announced that Water Corporation will bring metropolitan water production and wastewater treatment services back in-house. Water Corporation entered into an alliance agreement to deliver these services in July 2012. The agreement, named Aroona Alliance, is a partnership between Suez Water, Broadspectrum and Water Corporation. The decision to insource was recently made by Water Corporation’s Board following an internal review of the alliance delivery model. About 170 Aroona Alliance employees will now transfer to the government-owned utility by the end of June 2020 and will be provided continued employment with Water Corporation. The core services provided through the alliance include the operation and maintenance of water, wastewater and

recycling plants, dams, groundwater bores and trunk mains in the greater Perth metropolitan area. It follows the decision announced in August to transition metropolitan network operations and maintenance services back into Water Corporation by March 2020, bringing 250 previously privatised jobs into the publiclyowned utility. These services are being brought back in-house 25 years after they were privatised by the then Liberal Government. “It’s pleasing to see more and more essential services being brought back into public hands,” Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said. “This decision to insource metropolitan water production and wastewater treatment services is a responsible one that will benefit the community for years to come and is a great result for about 170 local workers.

“The publicly-owned utility will be able to deliver better services for Western Australians, and also provide a saving of about $2 million to the Western Australian taxpayer each year.” Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “Bringing these services back into public hands will give Water Corporation control over its maintenance and operations within the metropolitan area – consistent with how it already operates in other parts of the state. “This decision will position Water Corporation well for the future, ensuring it has the resilience to continue to respond to the impacts of climate change and a growing state, in an efficient and cost-effective way. “The Aroona Alliance workforce are to be commended for their work, and I look forward to having their expertise in-house when they become Water Corporation employees.”

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NEWS

PETERBOROUGH WASTEWATER PROJECT

GAINING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION

A

n innovative wastewater treatment model – which is now part of the World Health Organisation’s sanitation safety planning initiative – has won the SA Australian Water Association Infrastructure Project Innovation award. Microbiologist Professor Howard Fallowfield said that sustainable purification of wastewater by naturally occurring algae is an outstanding way for regional towns to reuse precious water – and reduce their carbon footprint and power usage at the same time. Professor Fallowfield from Flinders University was instrumental in designing and establishing high-rate algal ponds at Kingston-on-Murray and now Peterborough – which is the largest of its kind in Australia. “Before the high-rate algal pond (HRAP) was built, all households and businesses in Peterborough disposed of their wastewater on site via septic tanks or disposal, which often resulted in raw sewage problems in people’s backyards,” Professor Fallowfield said. Peterborough is similar to other small country towns. With a population of 1,500 people and located 250km north of Adelaide in the southern Flinders Ranges, water and power are costly to deliver. The town’s two HRAPs, each 5000m2 in size and just 0.3-0.5m deep, were built with funding from the District Council of Peterborough, the SA Government Community Wastewater Management Scheme coordinated by the Local Government Association of SA, and the Australian Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund. Professor Fallowfield believes the Peterborough system is a better solution for a low-energy carbon footprint, both during construction and operation, than conventional lagoon systems and regular electro-mechanical wastewater treatment plants. In the large shallow ponds, wastewater is exposed to disinfecting sunlight to reduce pathogens while naturally occurring microalgae carries out its purification function.

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“The reduced surface area and shorter retention time of HRAPs halves the evaporative losses, increasing the volume of treated wastewater available for reuse by communities in water-scarce regions like those in rural South Australia,” Professor Fallowfield said. The wastewater treatment project has supported the expansion of the local feral camel abattoir in Peterborough. SAMEX has become a leading local employer, growing to 80 staff from ten in 2012, including Indigenous employees and workers from the Ngaanyatjarra Camel company. The benefits for public health of a sustainable centralised HRAP system has the potential to redefine the approach to wastewater treatment in rural communities around the world. Researchers from the University of Nantes in France have already visited Peterborough to explore the opportunities for collaboration and application of the system to rural communities in France. Long-running project supporter Colin Steele, Managing Director of Canberra-based consultancy Section 51, said the project is a fine example of university expertise teaming with government and other partners. “The AWA award acknowledges that this project is a real and living example of a wastewater treatment project that incorporate sustainable design principles aimed at achieving social, economic and environmental outcomes,” Mr Steele said. The project has gained international attention in recent years after Professor Fallowfield presented at a WHO/UNESCO workshop at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle. This led to the HRAP validation as a case study in the Global Water Pathogen Project, which is supporting global implementation of the WHO Sanitation Safety Planning Manual. The Peterborough project is now in the running for the national AWA awards to be held in Adelaide in May 2020.

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NEWS

SHELL ACQUIRES ERM POWER LIMITED

S

hell Energy Australia, which has primarily focused on gas trading to date, has completed the acquisition of ERM Power Limited, one of Australia’s leading commercial and industrial electricity retailers. Greg Joiner, Vice President of Shell Energy in Australia, will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of ERM. In the future, the two businesses will be integrated and ERM rebranded as Shell Energy. Mr Joiner said he was pleased to welcome ERM’s highly-capable staff and customers to Shell. “ERM will become Shell’s core power platform in Australia and substantially accelerate our position in the Australian market,” Mr Joiner said.

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NEWS

NEW ELECTRICITY STRATEGY FOR NSW

U

nder the NSW Electricity Strategy, households across New South Wales are expected to save $40 per year on their electricity bills, and the state will have one of the highest reliability targets in the world. New South Wales Energy Minister, Matt Kean, said the strategy will ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply for the people of New South Wales, particularly in peak summer periods. “We want to create a competitive, low-cost market that delivers resilient energy supply while putting downward pressure on electricity prices,” Mr Kean said. “Not only does this strategy help us achieve that, it will attract $8 billion in investment for emerging energy technologies in New South Wales, diversifying our energy supply and creating jobs for the future.” The strategy includes a new Energy

Security Safeguard to drive the rollout of energy efficiency technologies and smart appliances that use electricity when it is cheap and off-peak, and an Energy Security Target to ensure there is enough capacity in the electricity grid on the hottest days, even with the two largest generating units offline. It will also include a plan to deliver Australia’s first coordinated Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) in the central west of the state, to support the new generation needed to get energy bills down. As our existing power generators approach the end of their lives, we need to ensure low-cost alternatives are coming online,” Mr Kean said. “By focusing on reliability, we can ensure that we can get the benefits of renewables without the reliability problems we have seen in other states. “While there will always be extreme events which impact the grid’s

reliability, our Electricity Security Target will mean that changes to the state’s energy mix do not come at the expense of our system’s reliability.” Clean Energy Council (CEC) Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said plans to support the rollout of Renewable Energy Zones were particularly exciting and would help to address the urgent need for new generation capacity to secure the state’s future energy supply. “New South Wales has rightly identified the need to accelerate investment in renewable energy and energy storage. Currently, New South Wales is the most heavily coaldependent state in the country, and with four of its coal-fired power stations due to close in the next 15 years, it’s critical to start planning for the future now,” Mr Thornton said. “It is great to see a government show leadership by progressing Australia’s first coordinated REZ. The

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NEWS

New electricity strategy for NSW

pilot REZ and dedicated REZ body are The Energy Efficiency Council has great initiatives and will play a key role also welcomed the strategy, which in improving reliability and delivering ramps up action on energy efficiency affordable energy to replace the state’s and supports the rollout of ‘smart’ existing coal generators as they retire. devices and equipment that can take “While there’s still plenty of work to load off the system when demand be done, it’s a great step forward for is high. New South Wales and will undoubtedly The new strategy flags a major help build confidence to invest in new revamp of the state’s Energy Savings clean energy projects in the state. Scheme, which will be extended “With recent CEC analysis revealing to 2050 and rebadged the Energy a 60 per cent reduction in clean energy Security Safeguard. investment over the past 12 months, Energy Efficiency Council CEO, this is exactly the type of commitment Luke Menzel, said that with this we need from government to address announcement, Energy Minister Matt the current challenges facing investors.” Kean has moved New South Wales into The CEC also welcomes plans to a leadership position on smart energy improve the regulatory framework to management. support new generation, expand the “The new Energy Security Safeguard current Energy Savings Scheme to a will do two crucial things,” Mr broader Energy Security Safeguard, Menzel said. and a further round of grants for the “Firstly, it will raise the ambition of Emerging Energy Program. New South Wales’ energy efficiency “We look forward to working with target, which will drive energy and the New South Wales Government cost savings for New South Wales to help design and deliver these households and businesses. Agru”Advertisement - FINALsaid. - Nov 2019.pdf 1 4/11/2019 10:20:30 AM initiatives, Mr Thornton

“Secondly, it will establish a companion effort on demand management, which will support the rollout of smart devices and equipment that can automatically take load off the system when demand is high.” The strategy also includes a range of new measures to encourage investment in firmed, large-scale renewable generation. Mr Menzel backed the State Government’s balanced approach to encouraging investment in energy efficiency, renewables and smart energy management. “Energy efficiency to bring down bills. Firmed renewables to replace aging generators. New, smart devices and equipment to balance the system,” Mr Menzel said. “Together, these elements add up to a credible plan to deliver an affordable, reliable and sustainable twenty-first century energy system, and it is a template that should be emulated around the country.”

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NEWS

WORLD'S LARGEST BATTERY

SET TO GET EVEN BIGGER

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he world’s largest grid-scale battery is set to grow by 50 per cent, with a $71 million upgrade announced for the 100MW/129MWh Tesla-built Hornsdale Power Reserve battery in Jamestown, South Australia. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated $8 million to Neoen Australia for the 50MW/64.5MWh expansion, to demonstrate the ability for grid-scale batteries to provide inertia services and Fast Frequency Response to the grid.

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The project will also receive $15 million over five years from the South Australian Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund, with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) committing $50 million. The total project cost includes financing and development costs in addition to CapEx. In what would be a first for the National Electricity Market (NEM), the project will provide an evidence base for further reform and innovation in grid management, including working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to test and demonstrate the capability of battery control systems to provide digital inertia replacing the mechanical inertia traditionally provided by synchronous generators. The tests could help to reduce current curtailment of solar PV and wind generation in South Australia. Neoen will also work with AEMO to provide an evidence base to support an update of the current Market Ancillary Services Specifications to increase the permissible level of Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) registration for all providers, enabling large-scale batteries to provide this

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NEWS

World's largest battery set to get even bigger

service to their full extent and unlock revenue streams to provide a commercial pathway for other large-scale batteries. As with vehicle suspension on an uneven road, inertia services are essential for stabilising the grid when electricity supply and demand fluctuate. Providing inertia from large batteries is a demonstration of global significance and is in addition to the battery’s existing role as a “shock absorber” during disturbances. The Hornsdale Power Reserve will be upgraded with Tesla’s Virtual Machine Mode, which allows the advanced power inverters to emulate the existing inertia services being supplied by an aging fleet of fossil fuel power plants. The level of inertia that would be provided by the Hornsdale Power Reserve could match half of the total needs of South Australia. This Australian-first battery technology will trial responding to supply fluctuations by automatically and rapidly charging and discharging. By imitating the behaviour of the existing fossil fuel-based services, the Hornsdale Power Reserve can arrest any grid frequency deviations through a clean and regenerative substitute. AEMO has identified that the South Australian grid requires 6,000 megawatt seconds (MWs) to maintain a secure operating level of inertia. It is anticipated that Hornsdale Power Reserve as expanded could provide up to 3,000MWs of inertia.

The expansion could also allow for an increased power flow limit to the Heywood interconnector, resulting in an improvement in spot prices when importing energy from Victoria. Tesla, who built the original battery in less than nine months in 2017, will deliver the project on a full turnkey construction basis. As South Australia continues to increase the share of renewable energy generation, large-scale storage such as grid-scale batteries will help address challenges facing South Australia’s power system, including reliability and inertia. ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said large-scale batteries will play a key role in ensuring reliability of supply and support for power system security as Australia transitions to renewable energy. “Large-scale batteries are playing an important role in providing short-term, large-scale energy storage to help firm and balance the grid,” Mr Miller said. “The Hornsdale battery is a groundbreaking project that has proven what batteries can do for our electricity system, and this expansion will now show that it is capable of much more by demonstrating inertia, expanded FCAS functionality and extended support for the Heywood interconnector. “Along with providing essential services to the South Australian grid, this will help to inform the regulatory changes required to value these services and create additional

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revenue markets for other batteries to enter the market on a commercial basis. “We hope this project will not only demonstrate the versatility of batteries in providing a range of grid services but also help pave the way for market reform.” South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said, “With this expansion, the Hornsdale Power Reserve will continue to break new ground in providing and proving up the benefits of inertial response from inverter technologies. “By providing an additional 50MW of fast-ramping market capacity, it is designed to reduce spot price volatility and protect the grid from network disturbances, resulting in more affordable, reliable and secure power for all South Australians.” This is the first project to receive financing from the State Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund which is designed to accelerate the deployment of new storage projects in South Australia that can address the intermittency of the state’s electricity supply. The capacity increase is expected to be completed by mid-2020, strengthening the Hornsdale Power Reserve’s position as the largest utility-scale battery in the world. Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director Neoen Australia, said, “The expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve is demonstrating the critical and multiple roles that batteries will play in the grid of the future.” CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said, “The Hornsdale Power Reserve has already delivered substantial benefits to South Australia, providing grid reliability, reducing energy costs and integrating the state’s substantial renewable energy resources into the grid. It is an exciting model that can be extended across the grid to improve security. “The CEFC is increasingly focused on catalysing investment opportunities in Australia’s energy transmission system, to capitalise on the benefits of Australia’s abundant low-emissions renewable energy resources. “We are increasingly working with market participants to develop long-dated opportunities around grid augmentation, including transmission, interconnectors and renewable energy zones, as well as hydro, gridscale battery storage and hydrogen. “We are excited by the potential to follow this first investment in the Hornsdale Power Reserve with investments in other innovative technologies to accelerate our transition to a low-emissions electricity grid.”

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NEWS

NATION TO BECOME HYDROGEN LEADER

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new fund set up by the Federal Government will put Australia on the path to becoming a world leader in hydrogen production and export. Following the release of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the launch of the funding package will focus on growing an innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia. Along with the $13.4 million already provided to implement and coordinate the strategy, the Federal Government will reserve $370 million from existing Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding to back new hydrogen projects. The CEFC will commit $300 million of concessional finance through a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund and ARENA will provide $70 million to kick-start electrolyser projects.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said with the National Hydrogen Strategy released, it was important to give the sector a boost to help Australia realise its high potential for hydrogen production. “The National Hydrogen Strategy maps out the steps we can take to develop a sustainable and commercial hydrogen industry,” Mr Taylor said. “The government is backing that through project investment to promote our outstanding potential as a hydrogen supplier to the world. “Importantly, hydrogen can play a role in the future energy mix to bring down energy prices, keep the lights on and reduce emissions.” The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council released the National Hydrogen Strategy in Perth.

The strategy sets a path for Australia to become a major global player in the hydrogen industry by 2030 through removing market barriers, ensuring regulatory consistency and building international trade partnerships. The strategy looks to encourage the creation of ’hydrogen hubs’ – clusters of large-scale domestic demand that will help to establish the skills and investment needed for Australia to develop a globally competitive hydrogen export industry. The Federal Government will also work with other countries to develop the international hydrogen standards and establish trade partnerships. This national coordination is essential to ensure hydrogen development has a positive influence on energy prices and energy security. The National Hydrogen Strategy is available at: industry.gov.au/hydrogen.

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D I G I TA L UTILITIES

A SMART GRID FOR ALL:

INTERNATIONAL INSIGHTS ON THE CHANGING ENERGY LANDSCAPE As rooftop solar and batteries become the norm, how to appropriately manage their output becomes an increasing challenge around Australia. We spoke to Suleman Alli, Director of Strategy at UK Power Networks, ahead of his international keynote presentation at Digital Utilities 2020, about the utility’s plans to create the world’s most advanced electricity network control system and how it is maximising the opportunities presented by Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

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ith more than 2.1 million solar homes, Australia has the highest penetration of residential rooftop solar in the world. The challenge with this strong solar uptake – along with the growing household battery storage and electric vehicle markets – is understanding how to best integrate the large amounts of small-scale solar generation into a grid that was never designed for two-way flows of power. Many in the Australian energy industry are starting to look to new network management models – and taking inspiration from overseas. The role of Distribution System Operator (DSO) is gaining traction in the UK and across Europe, and could have implications for the local sector. Smart Power, a report from the UK National Infrastructure Commission following studies of the country’s electricity sector, identified that a DSO would undertake the conventional role of a distribution network owner, but would also make full use of smart techniques and the flexibility of DER to create value for the wider electricity system. UK Power Networks, the company which keeps the

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

lights on for more than 18 million customers in London and the south-east of England, was among the first electricity networks in the UK to launch a strategy setting out its transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to DSO. The utility has already commenced its journey to becoming a DSO, and Suleman Alli, Director of Strategy, is the man responsible for leading the transition. “UK Power Networks is transitioning from the traditional role of a DNO, managing assets, to a DSO, managing outcomes and balancing an increasingly complex, interconnected and low-carbon electricity network,” Mr Alli said. “We believe that the core objectives of UK Power Networks’ vision – keeping the lights on, providing great customer service and reducing customer costs – remain central to a successful DSO transition. “However to succeed as a DSO, we are developing additional capabilities to deliver value for customers in the wider electricity system by enhancing network visibility, modelling and new control functions to enable whole system optimisation.

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“As such, our ‘Future Smart’ DSO strategy and roadmap revolves around a five-point action plan that focuses on facilitating cheaper and faster connections using proven innovation, prioritising customer flexibility as an alternative to network upgrades, creating the world’s most advanced electricity network control system, collaborating with industry to enable nation-wide benefits, and preparing for and facilitating the uptake of Electric Vehicles (EVs). “Starting from our Low Carbon London innovation project in 2010, we have continued to innovate, develop and deploy smart tools, techniques and technologies that unlock capabilities for the delivery of our DSO roadmap. “One such example includes our world-leading innovation project, ‘Flexible Plug and Play’, to facilitate faster and cheaper distributed generation connections, which became a business-as-usual product, ‘Flexible Distributed Generation’. Through this we have connected over 120MW of renewable generation, increasing the liquidity of the flexibility services market, and delivered savings of over £70 million for connecting customers. “Flexible Plug and Play was the first project to explore the use of flexible connections through innovative commercial arrangements in Great Britain. Flexible connections

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allow distributed generation customers to connect to the distribution network on the basis that their generation output can be controlled by the DNO whilst the network is kept within operational limits. “In October 2019, we announced a new flexible connections product using our new active network management system. Customers will benefit from low-cost, fast connections to the network and access to a simple application process which can be found online. An industryleading online mapping tool has been developed to give customers a guide on potential curtailment zones.” Mr Alli explained that through its experience of running flexibility tenders in 2017, UK Power Networks learned that market liquidity is fundamental to the success of its aspiration to use flexibility services as an alternative to network reinforcement. “We also learned that it is essential to promote further transparency and accessibility of our data and requirements, whilst maintaining market neutrality. As such, UK Power Networks collaborated with software company Piclo and signposted our constraint areas, heat maps and procurement process on their Piclo Flex platform to increase market liquidity and enable wider customer participation.”

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D I G I TA L UTILITIES

A smart grid for all: international insights on the changing energy landscape

INVESTING IN INNOVATION At UK Power Networks, innovation is defined as the development and implementation of any approach which enables the utility to achieve its objectives more quickly, affordably, safely or to a higher standard, and which uses methods that are unconventional in the context of the business. UK Power Networks has a dedicated team of 32 engineers, project managers and other specialists whose focus is to deliver an ever-growing portfolio of innovation projects. The utility has deployed 30 innovative solutions into businessas-usual operations since the start of the RIIO-ED1 period in 2015, which has led to £182 million in savings. The organisation is actively collaborating with over 100 project partners, and has access to over 7,000 small and medium enterprises through its membership with the Energy Innovation Centre. The innovation portfolio is split into three key focus areas: • Efficient and effective • Low carbon ready • Future ready “The biggest challenge of innovation is embedding the solutions into business-as-usual operations. However, for UK Power Networks, success has depended on strong governance throughout the lifecycle of any innovation project, having a business owner and senior sponsor since the inception of the solution, and business impact assessments throughout the delivery of the project,” Mr Alli said. “We have been developing smart grid solutions for over ten years. Most of these solutions are digitally based, integrating hardware solutions with software monitoring and control systems. Our forecasts and planning tools are increasing in complexity and data inputs. We are moving into the digital era, embracing a digital approach to record, monitor, manage and report the status of our networks. “UK Power Networks is also investing in business intelligence, with the aim to give individuals across the organisation timely and accurate information at their fingertips so that they can make better operational decisions. Similarly, the uptake of new technologies and systems are measured and fed back to the business in real time, tracking and accelerating adaptation. “Recently, we set up a dedicated analytics and insights function to identify performance opportunities using data and implement change efficiently in areas that yield the highest return. In addition to identifying opportunities using data mining, the team embeds predictive analytics and machine learning techniques to improve operational decision-making. “Innovation involves taking higher risks in order to achieve improvements in performance. This is managed carefully and is reflected in our rigorous approach to the selection, delivery and governance of innovation projects. However, this also means that we must recognise that some innovation will ‘fail’, i.e. not proceed into business as usual. We focus on capturing the learnings from such projects and believe that the greater failure would be to always accept the status quo.”

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

FUTURE NETWORK PRIORITIES UK Power Networks currently has over 30 innovation projects on the go, all contributing to the development of a future-ready grid for a low-carbon world. These include: • Power Potential (2017-2020), a world-first collaboration between UK Power Networks and the UK Electricity System Operator (NGESO), aims to create a new reactive power market for DER. DER connected on the distribution system will utilise their assets to support the management of transmission network constraints through the development of two commercial services: dynamic voltage control (reactive power service) and active power. A market framework to trial the world’s first regional reactive power market has been developed and DER will be able to participate in ancillary service provision to NGESO via UK Power Networks’ coordination. This will unlock whole system benefits such as additional network capacity and operational cost savings to customers. It will also enable more DER to connect in the trial area and give owners of DER an opportunity to access additional revenue streams • Optimise Prime (2019-2022) is looking to understand the operational needs of commercial fleet and private hire vehicles when they transition to EVs. It is the world’s biggest fleet EV trial which will involve 3,000 EVs from Royal Mail Group, Uber and Centrica. It will come up with practical ways of overcoming the upfront network costs that are currently holding back many big commercial vehicle operators from making the switch to EVs • Active Response (2018-2021) will trial an advanced automation platform and state-of-the art electronic power devices. We are looking to trial an integrated 11kV, low-voltage network that reconfigures itself every day to move the spare capacity to where the demand is by switching and controlling power flows • Shift (2019-2021) will help us understand the impact of the EV uptake and is aiming to unlock the potential for DER to provide flex services to the local network. The project will create a new potential source of revenue for customers offering smart charging services to the network. It will also explore different commercial mechanisms that can help provide flex services from low-voltage DER connected to the local network. It will enable a UK-first smart charging market by bringing together a DNO, EV market players and third parties to develop and test scalable customer propositions. Ultimately, customers with DER will be able to offer flex services to the network while having the option to retain the choice of their charging method • V2G (2018-21) is a collaboration between UK Power Networks and four consortia on different demonstration projects from electric buses to fleets and metered charging. The projects are looking to establish the value of vehicle-to-grid flexibility and prepare the business so that customers can benefit from it. UK Power Networks

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is seeking to unlock the value of vehicles being used as mobile batteries by developing new services through its DSO market that can generate revenue for DER. By recharging when demand is low and putting energy into the electricity network when it is high, vehicle-to-grid helps manage the peaks and troughs, balances the network and makes it more efficient

WORKING COLLABORATIVELY TO TRANSFORM THE ENERGY GRID Greater London has almost double the population of Greater Sydney, with significantly higher density. With Australia’s annual population growth sitting at over 1.5 per cent, the pressure is on to ensure an efficient, reliable and affordable electricity supply. Mr Alli said that UK Power Networks is working jointly with local authorities, other utilities, transport providers and businesses to provide solutions that match the pace and the ambition of their communities. “Local authorities are leading in the development of targets for low-carbon technology and the initiatives to achieve net zero by 2050. Collaborating closely with them helps us identify energy requirements for local future growth, driven by the growth in population,” Mr Alli said. “Examples of such collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA) are best demonstrated through several key initiatives around the uptake of low-carbon technology and its network impact. “We support the integration of energy data into London’s infrastructure data store by supplying inputs on EV charging, heat pumps and embedded generation profiles. In return, the GLA is able to supply UK Power Networks with the data necessary for accurate load growth modelling such as future housing and industrial development plans, and granular data around population, travel and movement. “Using these data sets helps us estimate upcoming loads while identifying gaps in our information, allowing UK Power Networks to target these as required (e.g. through the deployment of targeted low-voltage monitoring). “Our project Recharge The Future used advanced methodologies to forecast changes in energy requirements by modelling: • Population and economic growth along with evolution of the building stock • Energy efficiency improvements in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors • The uptake of a broad range of low-carbon technologies such as EVs, heat pumps, wind power, solar photovoltaics and domestic micro-generation • The changing policy landscape and evolving consumer behaviours and appliance ownership patterns

D I G I TA L UTILITIES

A smart grid for all: international insights on the changing energy landscape

“UK Power Networks is also a strategic member of The Mayor of London EV Taskforce where we are playing a leading role in developing EV public charging requirements for 2025. As part of this taskforce, we have produced a capacity map showing the fastest and most affordable locations to connect rapid chargers to the network, serving 200 town centres. This collaborative initiative, as well as many others, is providing UK Power Networks with vital information for the management of our networks.” According to Mr Alli, the traditional model for electricity generation is changing; more and more customers are becoming producers as well as consumers. Wind turbines, solar panels, EVs and other low-carbon technologies are now within the reach of consumers, and the use of flexible demand and generation is key in supporting the planning and operation of a smart grid. “Through our innovation program, we are taking an active role in developing new approaches to managing capacity and flows throughout our network,” Mr Alli said. “In cooperation with a range of partners, we are working to enable low-carbon generators to enter the energy market and to maximise the revenue of flexible assets. As energy exchanges become more localised, distribution network operators like us are evolving into distribution system operators to ensure the system is coordinated to deliver secure and affordable electricity supply. “We are trialling and rolling out new forms of flexibility within our network, ensuring that we build and operate smart, reliable and resilient networks as a more cost-effective alternative to traditional disruptive reinforcement.”

SULEMAN ALLI, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, UK POWER NETWORKS

As part of his international keynote presentation at Digital Utilities 2020, taking place from 19–20 March at Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney, Suleman Alli will discuss how UK Power Networks is putting in place a future-ready grid for a low-carbon world. Visit www.digitalutilities.com.au to register – enjoy savings of more than 15 per cent off regular ticket prices if you book before the early bird deadline of Friday 21 February.

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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THE GO-TO SUPPLIER FOR EVERYTHING PIPING After seven years servicing the oil and gas industry with great success, Piping Specialty Supply Services (PSSS) Director, John Wilton, has expanded PSSS' product and service offerings for the water industry.

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ith a combined 74 years’ experience, the Directors of PSSS lead a dedicated and committed team of experts who pride themselves on providing highquality piping products and services. “We’ve really established ourselves in the oil and gas industry as the go-to supplier for everything piping, but we wanted to expand and service the water industry more heavily,” Mr Wilton said. “A lot of the network owners are now stipulating the need for mechanical scrapers for any electrofusion or butt fusion, as well as internal and external debeading. We carry stock of all those types of products. “Whether it’s our extensive range of HDPE tooling, welding accessories, pigging equipment – anything piping related – we’re here to help.” Working on the motto ‘If we’re going to sell it, we better have it available’, Mr Wilton ensures PSSS has extensive stock of the lines it offers, particularly the specialty lines. Going from strength to strength,

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PSSS is now a leading provider of hot tapping and line stopping tools – for both steel and poly pipes – and even has rental hot tap machines. In conjunction with the hot tapping tools, PSSS also offers a full range of inflatable pipe plugs, mechanical pipe plugs and insertion, retraction systems. Supporting its customers through the entire process, the team at PSSS also happily provides any necessary training to ensure customers are getting the most out of the products. While PSSS is the proud Australian agent for brands including Pigs Unlimited, Hy-Ram, HTL and Sawyer Manufacturing – manufacturers of the highest quality pipeline equipment – it is always interested in adding new and innovative solutions and products to its catalogue. “We’ve had clients before who haven’t been able to find a certain product on our website, but after a chat with us we will go out and find it,” Mr Wilton said. “While we believe in maintaining strong relationships with our supply partners, our loyalty is to our

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

customers – they’re our first priority.” PSSS offers an extensive range of piping tools, available for both purchase and hire, across both steel and poly pipe, including: •

Pipe cutting and bevelling

Welding clamps

Bolting and flange management

Hot tapping and line stopping

Pipeline pigs and pigging equipment

Pipe handling

Pipeline plant and machinery

HDPE pipe tooling and machinery

Pipe protection

Consumables

For more information, visit www.psssa.com.au

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Your go-to supplier for all things piping FOR BOTH SALE AND RENTAL

Butt Fusion

Pipe Handling

Poly Welders

Pipe Protection

Hot Tapping and Line Stopping

HDPE Tooling

Pipe tools, equipment and welding for the water, gas and construction industries.

1300 794 096

sales@psssa.com.au www.psssa.com.au

Give the PSSS team a call – you won’t be disappointed.


WAT E R

Utility Partner Solutions

COMPACT FIELD UNIT FOR WATER ANALYSIS Bürkert’s modular Online Analysis System for measuring water quality is also available as a compact field unit. Parameters can be set and measured data evaluated via digital interfaces. A new feature is also a sensor module for automatically measuring iron content.

M

easuring the quality of water is essential in many sectors. Be it in desalination plants, waterworks, the food and pharmaceutical industry or for water distribution networks, the quality must always be checked, documented and faults resolved immediately. Bürkert Fluid Control Systems has further developed its proven modular Online Analysis System (Type 8905), which is now available as a compact field unit without a display. The field unit can be equipped with any number of cubes, ensuring required parameters, such as pH, chlorine/chlorine dioxide, conductivity, redox potential (ORP) and turbidity, can be recorded at various points in the process. The range now also includes a sensor cube for iron content, allowing operators to have continuous, online monitoring. The fully automatic process relieves the burden on users by eliminating the need for manual sampling and analysis. Using stored parameters, the system recognises anomalies and can issue warnings, ensuring high water quality at all times. Thanks to minimum water and reagent consumption, approximately 100µl per injection, 250ml of the chemical is sufficient for roughly 2,500 measurements of approximately one minute each. The optical flow injection analysis works fully automatically using high-precision microfluidic pumps and valves, is self-calibrating and only has to be cleaned once a year. The reagent containers can be reliably identified via a barcode, which eliminates the risk of incorrect loading.

UV disinfection and the addition of chlorine, all of which are required to achieve the necessary standards of water quality. To ensure that the water quality standards are being maintained, the council uses a monitoring station, equipped with sensors for measuring pH and chlorine. After years of working with an aging system that required frequent maintenance and recalibration, meaning increased levels of operator intervention, the council installed Bürkert Type 8905 water analysis system. Tristan Nowland, Instrument Technician at Kempsey Shire Council, said, “I liked being able to talk with their water industry specialists and local engineers at any time when I had specific questions, and I felt comfortable that Bürkert were confident in their knowledge of the system and my application needs.” Since the first three analysis systems were implemented for performance evaluation, Kempsey Shire Council has installed an additional system at the Fredrickton Reservoir, which is also monitoring pH and chlorine. This site endures extremely hot summers with no detrimental effects to the performance of the sensor cubes and has achieved almost a year in operation without the need to recalibrate. As early adopters of the compact unit, the operators at Kempsey Shire Council have been blown away with the reliability of the unit and the integrity of the data. For more information regarding Bürkert’s expertise in water quality analysis, please contact us at sales.au@burkert.com.au

MUNICIPAL WATER TREATMENT SERVICE SAVES TIME AND MONEY Kempsey Shire Council is a local government utility responsible for providing water and wastewater services to the Kempsey district, 350km north of Sydney. At the South West Rocks Recycled Water Treatment Plant, final treatment of effluent includes ultra-filtration,

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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Smart Water Solutions / Water quality monitoring for Industrial manufacturing and water treatment / From drinking water, to industrial processes or even waste water treatment, BĂźrkert provides customised solutions for plant operators. We introduce digitialisation and future proof applications, ensuring more reliable analysis, whilst improving costs and reducing maintenance requirements. Contact us to see how we can help.

We make ideas flow.


WAT E R

r e t p a h c w neSA WATER AFOR 34

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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WAT E R

SA Water is one of Australia’s largest water utilities, operating the longest water network in the country to deliver services to more than 1.7 million customers spread from Mount Gambier in the south-east, to Leigh Creek in the north and over to Ceduna on the far west coast. Following the departure of previous CEO Roch Cheroux in August 2019, it was announced that experienced water industry executive, David Ryan, would be taking the top spot. Utility Editor, Charlotte Pordage, caught up with SA Water’s new Chief Executive to find out more about his vision for the organisation.

M

r Ryan said that a lot of work has been done on establishing SA Water’s strategic direction and he is looking forward to building on the strong foundations already in place. “I think SA Water has a really sound direction. In terms of what I think is important from an internal perspective, I want to have an organisation that works collaboratively with a really strong focus on achievement,” Mr Ryan said. “My vision will also be around having an incredibly strong culture with our customers really at the heart of that. So everything we do, whether it’s how we manage our assets, whether it’s our focus on safety, whether it’s our focus on financial performance or affordability, ultimately it all comes back to providing excellent services for our customers. UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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WAT E R

A new chapter for SA Water

“Externally, I recognise that SA Water has a really important role to play in terms of the South Australian community and the South Australian economy. It’s my vision that we’re an organisation that works really well with a whole range of South Australian partners, whether government or private industry, but equally we also look beyond South Australia to bring in expertise where required, for the benefit of our customers. “My leadership style is very much around leadership in context. What that means is being able to lead with a whole variety of styles and skills based on the context and situation. My preference is certainly to be more collaborative and engaging, but equally it just needs to be in context.”

SERVICING A DIVERSE CUSTOMER BASE Mr Ryan was previously Managing Director at City West Water, which provides water and sewerage services to residents and businesses in Melbourne's CBD, inner and western suburbs. When asked how this compares to delivering water and wastewater services to an entire state, he explained that while there are some similarities, there are also key differences. “Both organisations, for instance, have a strong focus on customers, safety and affordability, as well as mitigating the impacts of climate change and improving the way assets are managed. Those challenges aren’t unique or specific to one organisation, they’re right across the whole sector,” Mr Ryan said. “While there are a lot of similarities, there are also some big differences. As an example, City West Water is looking after some of the fastest growing areas within Australia. Whereas SA Water has such a breadth of responsibilities and distance to cover, including regional and remote communities, in addition to looking after the Adelaide CBD, which is obviously similar to the CBD of Melbourne. “What’s very clear having just joined SA Water, and is the same at City West Water, is that you’ve got really committed people who are working in this sector because it really matters to them.” Mr Ryan commented that he absolutely loved his time at City West Water and has a strong connection with the organisation. In terms of what motivated him to move to SA Water, he couldn’t pass up an incredible opportunity to manage a utility with a statewide focus and such a varied customer base. “It’s also an organisation that has really started to make some great gains around innovation, having a strong culture and is committed to continuously improving its customer service. I was really excited about moving to South Australia and learning more about this amazing state – even in the short time I’ve been here, getting to know the area has been incredible.” Having attended university as a mature age student enrolled in environmental science, Mr Ryan said he was blessed to get a short-term job at Barwon Water, followed by

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

a range of roles, most notably Executive General Manager, Service Delivery, at Melbourne Water. “My time at Melbourne Water was really important to me and I worked in a whole range of roles there. Then I was once again blessed to be selected as the Managing Director of City West Water. So all up, I’ve been in the water sector for about 16 years,” Mr Ryan said. “I’m enormously proud of the work that we did around culture at City West Water, and really enjoyed seeing the whole organisation embrace a strong focus on an achievement culture and the benefits of that for people, not just in their work lives, but also in their lives outside of work. I’m not sure whether it’s an accomplishment, but I definitely get a little kick out of seeing people that I’ve worked with go on and achieve their career aspirations.”

STRONGER TOGETHER Mr Ryan balances the demands of a challenging professional life by prioritising time with his family, maintaining his health through running and exercising, and following Carlton Football Club in the AFL. “It’s actually better for me following a Victorian team, rather than one of the South Australian teams, because that way I don’t disappoint any of my staff!” For Mr Ryan, one of the things he loves most about working in the water industry is the people. “I think it’s an industry that has real meaning for people. I find it really easy to connect the things that I do and what they mean to communities and customers,” Mr Ryan said. “It’s also an incredibly collaborative sector. There’s no problem picking up the phone and talking to someone from another state or another water business around how we can improve the services we’re offering, or whatever the issue may be. It’s incredibly collaborative and sharing, because ultimately we’re all in this sector to make the lives of our customers and communities better. “The biggest challenge facing the industry is really around the changing climate and its impact on water supply. At the same time, we need to think about how we can create more liveable communities and improve services for our customers. “Those challenges are not unique to SA Water. Some of them we’re just a little more focused on, or they’re more extreme for us, given the dry climate, and the remoteness of some of the services that we provide in South Australia. But right across the sector, we’re all facing similar challenges. “To go right back to the start in terms of my vision for SA Water, I think it’s so important that we’re all working together for our customers. That means whether it’s others within the water sector, other South Australian government organisations or private businesses, it’s crucial that we are working collaboratively to try and find solutions for some of these big challenges facing our sector.”

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A GAME CHANGER

FOR THE ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY • Compliance with authority codes • Global application - applicable to any pipe material • 24/7 assessment • Ability to apply expert classification and further train the model as the database builds • Concise classified defect report generated at completion of analysis

WHAT IS PIPE AI?

Pipe Ai uses artificial intelligence to review CCTV footage to identify cracks and anomalies in pipes. Pipe Ai generates a concise defect report once the Ai process is complete that can be used to inform future maintenance plans or repair schedules.

Contact us to find out how Pipe Ai can deliver better efficiencies within your organisation. +61-7-3532 1300 enquiries@peakai.com.au www.peakai.com.au

WHAT CAN PIPE AI DO FOR ME?

Pipe Ai improves accuracy and reduces the cost of CCTV reviews. It saves inspectors and asset managers many hours or days in front of a screen reviewing CCTV footage, allowing them to focus on more important, higher value tasks within the organisation. Pipe Ai is quick, reliable, works 24/7 and is able to process significantly more CCTV footage in much less time.


Guntur Widyatama

Industrial Development Manager Water Treatment, Process Chemicals, Mining & Oilfield Division

APP Group’s water treatment plant at Pindo Deli 2, processes 33 million litres of water per day, for paper and pulp production. Eight filters, containing, two hundred and fifty tonnes of DMI-65®, remove iron and manganese to below the Indonesian Standard of <0.02ppm Fe and <0.05ppm Mn


DMI-65® FOR IRON AND MANGANESE REMOVAL IRON AND MANGANESE REMOVAL: Build up of iron and manganese in the filter system results in very high maintenance overheads, loss of production and potentially system failure. DMI-65® efficiently removes dissolved iron to the almost undetectable levels as low as 0.005mg/L and manganese to 0.001mg/L as well as particulate, effectively removing this risk. REMOVAL OF TOTAL SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND TURBIDITY: The DMI-65® also provides the perfect filtration coefficient resulting in excellent mechanical filtration lowering total suspended solids (TSS) to less than 1mg/L and turbidity levels less than 1 NTU. REDUCED COSTS: The total cost of the iron and manganese removal water filtration system is significantly less than alternative solutions, the effectiveness, but relative simplicity, of DMI65® based systems reduces the upfront capital expenditure on plant complexity as well as the ongoing operational expenditure in chemicals, power and backwash waste water recovery. HIGH FLOW RATES: The infused technology of DMI-65® promotes the highest oxidation rate of any catalytic filtration media. This permits a significantly higher water flow rate to achieve the same level of iron and manganese removal. DMI-65 can operate at linear filtration velocities up to twice that of conventional media with a corresponding reduction in capital equipment costs. HIGH LOAD CAPACITY: DMI-65® also has higher iron and manganese load capacity which can extend the duration of filter runs and the time between backwashing, thereby reducing downtime, operating expense and wastage. REGENERATION NOT REQUIRED: The media operates with a continuous injection of sodium hypochlorite at low residual levels (0.1 to 0.3mg/L) which eliminates the need for Potassium Permanganate. WIDE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT: Stable and satisfactory performance at pH 5.8 to 8.6 and a maximum operating temperature of 113° F (45°C) reduces the need for investment to alter the operating environment. LONG LIFE: DMI-65® is not consumed in the process giving it an expected operational life of up to 10 years, providing considerable advantages over other processes or media. The media does not display a decaying capacity to do its catalytic work. Over the 5 to 10 year period, through many backwashing operations of the bed to remove retained solids, an attrition loss of the media occurs by contact between particles and mechanical abrasion.

“Advanced Filtration Media”

® www.dmi65.com info@dmi65.com +61 1300 303 281


WAT E R

Utility Partner Solutions

NEED MORE CHEMICAL STORAGE,

BUT DON’T HAVE THE SPACE? Every piece of real estate within a plant is valuable, no matter how big the site. Every process is engineered to fit within the parameters of the existing infrastructure or modified to maximise operating efficiencies and budget.

A

wastewater treatment plant, for example, doesn’t always have the luxury of creating a greenfield site just because it has run out of physical room to accommodate a 200 per cent increase in chemical storage. That’s the exact dilemma faced by Lower Murray Water (LMW) at its Swan Hill Water Treatment Plant. Like all established sites, LMW’s infrastructure included a traditional bund and a storage vessel that didn’t meet the demands of the north-west Victorian region it serviced. The concrete bund enclosure and caustic tank were nearing the end of their operating lives, with only half the required holding capacity.

The challenge LMW faced was insufficient real estate to squeeze a larger tank inside the existing concrete bund and still comply with Australian standards. To repair and increase the size of the existing bund was too costly and close to impossible due to the size of the site, therefore a smarter and more practical solution was required.

AN EFFECTIVE SOLUTION TO THE STORAGE CHALLENGE The task at hand was to increase the caustic storage capacity to 10,000L,

FINAL INSTALLATION COMPLETE

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CRANING THE DOUBLE-WALLED TANK

POSITIONED – PERFECT SPACE

INTO POSITION

UTILISATION BETWEEN SHED AND FENCE

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

utilise the existing bund compound (wedged between a shed and a fence line) and avoid all civil works, but still ensure compliance with Australian standards. Problem solved – a Polymaster double-walled 10,000L, certified chemical tank quickly craned into place on the same day of delivery. LMW avoided the lengthy civil work required of upgrading a traditional concrete enclosure as well as the time to build it. Because the new self-bunded tank easily fitted onto the pad, the existing dosing panel was able to remain in place. Polymaster tanks are manufactured from a high antioxidant polyethylene (PE) material, giving excellent resistance to almost all chemicals used within water and wastewater treatment facilities. Due to the high-quality UV-resistant material used, they are suitable for all outside conditions. Polymaster chemical tanks are all tested and certified to the Australian standard for PE tanks storing chemicals AS/NZS 4766. Proudly, most water utilities across Australia have worked with Polymaster to provide effective and safe chemical storage solutions. The self-bunded tank range has been a popular choice to suit many applications due to reducing onsite footprint and overall project costs, and its ability to store a significant range of aggressive chemicals. Whether you're looking to install a new chemical tank or upgrade an existing installation, call the Polymaster Industrial team on 1300 062 064.

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UTILITY â&#x20AC;¢ FEBRUARY 2020

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B I G D ATA

LEVERAGING BIG DATA TO ENABLE AN INTELLIGENT GRID In February 2018, researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering announced the development of a world-first data platform that would harness information from potentially millions of households to enable deep, real-time analysis and control of household energy. The big data collected would not only empower consumers to take control over their household power generation, storage and consumption, but would also enable monitoring of entire systems and could be used by energy retailers to ensure safer and more secure networks.

A

ccording to Professor Neil Horrocks, Director, Centre for Energy Data Innovation at UQ, the platform and associated data use cases are still under development and at varying stages of completion, but the entire platform should be fully operational by 2021. “The data platform itself is now in its second iteration, having been built and tested, and is now accepting data. It continues to evolve as new improvement opportunities are identified,” Mr Horrocks said. “Data is being received into the platform every minute in near real time from sensors across the Energy Queensland network. Currently, we are receiving about four million sets of data values a week and this is growing by the month. The associated use cases that leverage the platform data are at varying stages of development.” The university is working closely with four collaborators on the project: • Energy Queensland Limited and specifically, its networks, Energex and Ergon Energy. The utility is overseeing the development and iteration of the use cases, installation of the IoT sensors and is providing additional existing network data flows

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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B I G D ATA

Redback Technologies is providing the IoT sensor hardware for the project and the software engineers that maintain the platform • Springfield City Group is providing 'living labs' in the form of energy consumers and its contribution will continue to grow throughout the project – as the developer of Australia’s largest masterplanned community, the business has an active interest in delivering innovative energy outcomes for its residents • Microsoft is ensuring that the project team has the skills to deliver a reliable, secure and scalable platform product “Most of the data is collected using IoT sensors that capture the data in near real time and transport it back to our Microsoft Azure Platform on a LPWAN. The sensors can collect a range of power data metrics and encrypt the data for transport,” Mr Horrocks said. “The cloud-based Microsoft Azure platform has been customised by the software engineers at Redback Technologies to meet the specific needs of the project partners and ensure all the data is received and individually identified, validated and stored.”

DATA WITH A PURPOSE Mr Horrocks said that two of the big challenges in the emerging big data world are obtaining access to the skills required to analyse the data and avoiding costly collection without clear use cases for that data. “The Centre for Energy Data Innovation has a very clear mandate to deliver outcomes across a range of use cases,” Mr Horrocks said. “It has assembled a multi-disciplinary research group to deliver this, including: • Power engineers who provide context behind the use cases we are exploring and work with our data scientists to identify new learnings • Data scientists who undertake the detailed analytics and machine learning design, and then constantly iterate their work to improve results • Interaction designers whose role it is to visualise the outputs so they can be understood more readily by those using the data • The project team also relies on the UQ cyber security team “In addition, the team have a very clear project focus and have been working on a range of very specific data challenges, including: • Working with households to help them to understand their power usage. Prototype visualisations are being developed to enable them to better understand their energy use • Improving household safety by exploring a number of ways to detect the emergence of broken neutrals at a supply point using near real-time data (voltage, current, harmonics) to increase detection frequency • Building improved visibility of connection points within feeder segments to assist networks to understand the network connectivity model and feeder capacities UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

Tracking network power quality and reliability in near real time • Forecasting short-term (day ahead) and medium-term (month ahead) solar generation profiles using detailed weather forecast data • Exploring how IoT devices could provide better management of intermittent demand constraints and more targeted and timely demand response in near real time • Exploring visualisation scenarios for network engineers to enable them to absorb more network data in a more effective and timely manner “One of the features of the platform is that, using machine learning, it can make predictions and decisions about how consumers can most effectively use their energy. “The project team are currently developing this capability and working closely with households to understand and uncover their energy needs, and to prototype options that will enable consumers to take charge in the future. This is an iterative, collaborative process and there is still much to do. We expect the work will start to bear fruit in 2020 as we start to derive better insights into energy usage and develop improved visualisations and communications methods.”

GAINING CONSUMER TRUST With effective data security and privacy key to the success of such a platform, Mr Horrocks said that the project benefits greatly from having Energy Queensland integrated in the project team. “They retain a high level of trust with customers developed through years of providing a reliable service and managing customer meter data. They are responsible for enrolling participants and providing security and privacy assurances. Understandably, this in turn makes security and privacy a key issue for the project and a prime focus area for the project team,” Mr Horrocks said. “The project team is closely watching the development of the Consumer Data Rights legislation and the mechanisms that will provide to allow consumers to safely arrange transfer of this energy data to their trusted parties. “There are no plans to release the data externally, but work will be done to explore how this data could be effectively de-identified so that independent businesses might have access to representative data sets for product development and product testing.” When asked if the platform would be made available to energy providers in other states, Mr Horrocks said that the design of the platform can be readily duplicated to allow other energy providers to have their own big data platform. “This makes the platform an ideal way for energy providers to develop some early big data insights and test new opportunities without the cost or risk of building enterprisesized big data infrastructure,” Mr Horrocks said. “There are a number of networks in other states currently trialling the platform and sensor technologies with our project team.”

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CYBER SECURITY

The utility network in Australia is undoubtedly critical to our nation, with powerlines spanning over 5,000km from Port Douglas to Tasmania – one of the world’s longest single electricity grids. The rise in cybercrime, combined with impact assessments from global case studies, indicate that a targeted attack against a major Australian critical infrastructure provider could occur at any time. Both the opportunity and the incentive for such an attack are significant, but the ability of Australian utilities to prevent, detect or respond to such an attack is low.

RISING THREATS AND RISIN

POWERING TOWARDS A CYBER RESILIENT U by Grant Turvey, Utilities Lead, Accenture Australia and New Zealand, and Joseph Failla, Security Lead, Accenture Australia and New Zealand

T

he industry is undergoing a huge transformation, integrating technology to increase performance and profit in a challenging political, regulatory and operational environment characterised by new competitors and a swathe of market disruptors. From Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), to smart grids and microgrids, energy providers in Australia are increasingly experimenting with new technologies connecting IT, energy management systems and consumers. This digitisation is set to continue as new regulatory and commercial pressures squeeze margins while community expectations for reliability, transparency and high standards of supply remain high. This increasingly digitised network is creating new security vulnerabilities and widening the threat landscape. The industry is a prime target for cyberattackers to inflict serious damage and disruption, from lone wolf cyber criminals to nation state actors, seeking both political

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UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

and financial benefits, as explored in Accenture’s recent whitepaper, Securing Critical Infrastructure. Regardless of the source or the motive, a successful attack on our grid could result in major power outages, completely disrupting life as we know it. As such, the threat of cyberattacks on our power infrastructure is a cause of major concern for operators and the government, especially with recent incidents globally in Norway, Ukraine and South Africa. Global cybercrime incidents in the utility industry have increased by 67 per cent in the last five years, according to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime 2019 research, reflecting the increased vulnerabilities. Of all industries surveyed by Accenture, the utility industry has the highest cost of cybercrime, an average of US$17.84 million per year. With cybercrime increasing so significantly, it’s important we look at what has been done, and what could be done better to make sure the industry (and our nation) is safeguarded against these rising threats. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


CYBER SECURITY It’s important that utility businesses invest in preventing information loss and business disruptions through secure, resilient cybersecurity. To do so, they should focus their resources on discovering and managing attacks such as denial-of-service, malicious insider and malware and the use of data loss prevention technologies.

UTILITY BUSINESSES MUST WORK TOGETHER TO STRENGTHEN WEAK LINKS We can’t place too much emphasis on the importance of protecting our people. The utility sector’s greatest vulnerability is its people, leading to an alarming number of cyberattacks. While the study revealed organisations are investing in some protection, the concern is that the increase is not enough to cope with fast growing cyberattacks like phishing. To ensure understanding and awareness of cybersecurity is embedded within a business and remains effective against insider threats, an organisation must bring together all its departments, including human resources, legal, development, security and IT, to take part in regular training and education. By working closely together, businesses will strengthen any weak links in the business and combat the growing threat in the human layer.

BUSINESSES MUST BE PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE, IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CYBERCRIME

NG COSTS –

UTILITY NETWORK

As the number of cyberattacks grow, so do the discovery costs. Businesses must face the reality that preparing for the cost of cybercrime is not a choice, but a requirement if they expect to maintain strength and sustainability in a landscape of growing cyber threats. Businesses must be proactive by investing in the technologies to investigate and discover cybercrimes. The adoption of AI, machine learning and automation is a smart way to manage the rising cost to discover attacks. By being proactive – not reactive – in the adoption of smart and adaptable technology, businesses will significantly minimise risks across all layers of business.

THE CYBER THREAT IS REAL – SO WHAT CAN BUSINESSES DO ABOUT IT? UTILITY ORGANISATIONS MUST PROTECT THEIR GREATEST ASSET – INFORMATION The cost of cybercrime to a utility business is growing – denial of service (cyberattacks designed to render a computer or network service unavailable to its users) can cost up to $207,000 a year and malicious code up to $182,000 for utility businesses to resolve. The average cost of cybercrime for a utility organisation increased by 12 per cent over the last year, putting the economic value at risk over the next five years at $219 billion dollars. However, cybercrime’s biggest casualty is not financial losses but rather the unsalvageable consequences of losing valuable information. In the face of new regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the hazards of information loss are an ongoing concern. Future incidents of information loss (theft) could have significant financial impact if regulators choose to impose fines. UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

The utility industry will need to work proactively and intelligently if it wants to combat the growing threat of cybercrime. Here are three key steps all utility organisations must respond to immediately if they believe in the importance of growing their cyber resilience: 1. Protect your greatest asset – information – through focused discovery management and prevention technologies 2. Place greater emphasis on protecting people through a collaborative effort in the business 3. Be proactive, not reactive, by investing in discovery technology to manage threats across the business to prevent information loss and business disruption which are growing concerns Australian utilities can no longer ignore the harsh reality of cybercrime – it’s evident that it’s a case of ‘when’, not ‘if’ they will face a major attack. The time for utility businesses to increase their cyber resilience is now. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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IMAGINE

IF YOU CAN EXPAND YOUR ACCESS CONTROL TO INCLUDE THE PADLOCKS ON YOUR REMOTE ASSETS.

EKA CyberLock is an electromechanical master key system providing all the benefits of an access control system without the need to cable. The system can be installed into almost any locking situation ranging from conventional doors to padlocks securing remote assets. The innovative communication and user management options between the administration software and the CyberKeys allow security managers to tightly control and monitor system user access even over the largest geographic areas in the same way as a traditional access control system.

Five Key Elements

that make EKA CyberLock perfect for securing and managing access to remote sites.

IP68 PADLOCK

LOST KEYS

Padlocks provide the physical locking for a large percentage of remote assets. This statement is supported thanks to recent large projects where the locking requirement being a padlock was more than 75% of all locks required. This means having an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Australian Proofâ&#x20AC;? padlock solution that is strong, solid, durable, and dust, salt, sand and water-resistant which are minimum requirements to handle our environment is a must. EKA CyberLock have a vast range of padlocks suitable for any application, all of which can be fitted with an IP68 electronic EKA CyberLock cylinder.

Knowing who has keys that can access your assets is paramount to maintaining security and is a risk that needs to be carefully managed. EKA CyberLock manages this risk in many ways, one such way is keys are only authorised to function for short periods of time. This means a lost CyberKey does not have access, so they present no security risk. One way CyberKeys are updated when required is via a connection to the management software using an App on their electronic device such as a smartphone. The update process is a two-way connection, the CyberKey downloads new access privileges, is re-authorised to work for the allocated time window and it also uploads audit information, making the system virtually real-time. If a CyberKey is lost, then once the time window is expired the CyberKey is deactivated thanks to the configuration of the system, essentially eradicating the risk of lost keys.

Australian Proof Padlock Solution. Strong, solid, durable, and dust, salt, sand & water resistant.

46

POWER SOURCE

AUDIT

Ever pondered the cost of replacing batteries in a large number of electronic cylinders or locks (for example 1,000 cylinders) located on a large site such as a University every 12 months. The cost is significant. Well imagine the additional cost in labour and time if these were securing the assets of a major Utility spread over a huge geographical area such as NSW. EKA CyberLock cylinders and padlocks have no battery and are powered by the battery in the CyberKey. This key battery is normally rechargeable even in the car meaning the cost associated with visiting locks and replacing batteries is eliminated.

Every time a CyberKey is used it creates an audit of the event. This audit is stored in both the CyberKey and the CyberLock. The audit in the CyberKey is the main source of information. The audit in the CyberLock is a backup should an event occur such as a CyberKey is lost or disposed of to mask some suspicious activity. The audit aids security administrators to investigate suspicious activity however there are many other uses such as to verify a contractor has visited a remote site or if a staff member is trying to access areas they are not authorised to access.


Cyberlock technology

Secures BROADCAST AUSTRALIA’S SITE ACCESS.

SITE SECURITY PROJECT

Completed March 2019 395

1745

sites

Top: EKA CyberLock Padlock with CyberKey | Bottom Left: Carbine C45-M Padlock with EKA CyberLock cylinder and CyberKey Blue2 | Bottom Right: EKA CyberLock cylinder installed on an entrance door with CyberKey Blue2

1661

Locks

9 MONTHS

keys

284 DAYS

INTEGRATION There is a place for both traditional access control and EKA CyberLock in access management of remote sites. At the head office access points that are easily cabled traditional access control makes the best sense, but the cabled solution does not extend to offline areas or where padlocks are required. This is where EKA CyberLock is a better solution. The issue this presents however is that two systems need to be administered. This is where integration is required. CyberLock software is perfectly suited to integration with other management systems. This allows the administrator to work with a single dashboard to allocate access to various locations for individual users who may require a traditional access control credential and a CyberKey. This example is only the tip of the iceberg as the integration can extend to include virtually any software system including those for contractor management, WHS, password management and rostering. There is also possible hardware integration. One such example is CyberKeys can be managed and allocated using a 20 key vault (electronic key cabinet), where users present their credentials to the vault, which may be their traditional access control card to be issued with a programmed CyberKey with their customised access profile loaded onto the key. The user can access CyberLocks with their CyberKey and when finished they return the CyberKey to the vault where it is downloaded, deactivated and charged ready to be allocated to the next user with their specific access profile loaded.

ZONED PERMISSIONS GATE / HUT / TOWER

CENTRALISE & AUTOMATE

“I was very impressed with the new lock systems, this will save a lot of money and hassle in the long term. It is good to see Broadcast Australia moving with technology where other Communication organisations are lagging.” - NBN third-party contractor.

PART 1 of delivering Broadcast Australia’s seamless, end to end & automated site access capability. PART 2 of the program is now underway, to deliver an online App to seamlessly manage all site access related activities, from applying for access to logging on and off site.

Safeguarding our people, sites and services through the national deployment of EKA CyberLocks and Keys across our network. Written by: Geoff Plummer

Executive Business Manager - DAVCOR Group Pty Ltd

www.ekacyberlock.com.au | 1300 722 311


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Sitting on a beach in Ecuador, two friends came up with an idea that they believed would solve the energy trilemma. The concept was quite simple: offer consumers real-time, wholesale energy prices, and promote the use of renewables and off-peak energy use to improve grid reliability. Utility Assistant Editor, Siobhan Day, spoke with Amber Electric Co-Founder, Dan Adams, to discuss his brainchild – an energy company that is set to disrupt the industry by offering consumers more autonomy in when and how they use energy.

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o-Founders of Amber Electric, Dan Adams and Chris Thompson, met while working at Boston Consulting Group. With a shared passion for renewable energy and customer-centric digital technologies, they founded the ‘new-age’ energy company back in December 2017. Less than 12 months later, Amber Electric was launched to customers in Sydney in August 2018. In October 2018, Chris finished a 12-week accelerator program at Startmate and won Startup Vic’s Impact Pitch Night.

A NEW WAY TO BUY ELECTRICITY AND UNLOCK THE VALUE OF

RENEWABLE ENERGY by Siobhan Day, Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

A new way to buy electricity and unlock the value of renewable energy

Now servicing South Australia and Sydney, Amber Electric has seen tremendous investment in recent months, making it well positioned to scale its product and service offerings right up the east coast of Australia.

AFFORDABILITY “In every other market you think about, it is a two-sided market where both buyers and sellers are responding to a price,” Mr Adams said. “But the traditional energy market is one-sided, where suppliers see the wholesale price, but customers don’t, so they have no opportunity to respond to it.” Amber Electric is able to bypass this traditional model and offer customers direct access to real-time wholesale energy prices at a monthly subscription fee of $10. Through a simple online application, customers are able to see what the wholesale electricity price is at that moment in time, as well as a forecast for the next 12 hours. The app also offers customers information on their daily, weekly and monthly energy consumption, as well as warnings for when wholesale prices are likely to spike. “There are times when energy prices are more expensive, and we see those as an opportunity. Because they often happen in January, particularly on those hot days, we send notifications to customers recommending they go to the movies that afternoon,” Mr Adams said. “Those high-price events really are an opportunity to dramatically increase savings. If they can engage with those and reduce their consumption for a few hours a year, they can save significantly more. “The other side of that is wholesale prices are actually negative sometimes. Sometimes there’s surplus renewables in the grid, and we’ll actually pay people to use electricity – which people find pretty hard to believe.” ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Not only does Amber Electric offer customers the chance to be paid to use energy, but the company also provides information on the percentage of renewables in the grid so customers can shift some of their usage to the times when there are lots of renewables available. “Because renewables are now the cheapest form of power, there’s this sort of beautiful win/win where customers are saving money and supporting the transition to more renewable energy at the same time,” Mr Adams said. “Customers can look at the app and say, 'I’m going to do my washing and drying at 3pm because I know there’s going to be a lot of solar in the grid and the wholesale prices are going to be cheap, so I can save money and support renewables'. “It gives customers that bit of insight into how they can manage their energy use in a way that is going to help them the most, while benefitting the planet.”

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RELIABILITY The ability to shift energy consumption away from peak periods is not just reducing costs for the consumer and creating more demand for renewables – it is also increasing the reliability of the grid. “I think in consumers’ minds there’s this idea that they can save money and help the environment by using less power, but it’s quite a new concept that when you use power matters even more,” Mr Adams said. “Sometimes it makes sense to use more power because there is a lot of renewables in the grid. Sometimes it’s expensive and it makes sense to use less when it’s coming from coal, and you can increase your environmental impact by using less at those times. “While all consumers are interested in reducing energy costs, there are a lot of customers that are very engaged and plan their life around using power when it’s cheap and renewable.” DIGITISING ENERGY Dan and Chris aren’t really the type to stick to tradition, so it’s no surprise that their plans for Amber Electric are quite different from those of traditional companies. “There’s two big trends happening in the energy market. One is the transition to renewables, and the other is a sort of digitisation of energy at the household level, with smart devices coming into people’s homes that can be optimised and controlled,” Mr Adams said. “We think there’s a big opportunity to merge these two trends and start to use those devices in people’s homes to enable that transition to renewable energy.” They will offer additional services, like optimising household batteries, electric vehicle chargers and other smart devices to run when wholesale prices are at their lowest levels, helping customers change their behaviour without much effort involved. “Devices in customers’ homes are really leveraged to enable the transition to renewables and reduce the cost to customers because they can reduce the overall cost of running the network by reducing demand at those peak times,” Mr Adams said. “The Amber model is just giving customers access to the wholesale price and then helping them optimise as many devices as they want. “This way customers aren’t restricted to one device, they can have as many devices as they want from as many different suppliers as they want, and we can optimise it for them, or they can have the device manufacturer optimise it. “The digitisation of energy is also the decentralisation of energy. Customers are taking more ownership with solar panels, batteries and EVs, and starting to be active participants in the energy market, rather than just inactive consumers of it. “It is an exciting time when what is in the customers’ interest is also in the interest of the planet.”

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


or submit your enquiry on awashaft.myrehau.com


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

INDUSTRY-LEADING

CUSTOMER FOCUS

REACHES NEW HEIGHTS

Working together with its 1.7 million customers to shape its future plans has become an ingrained ethos for SA Water, and underpins the delivery of services that represent excellent value.

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uilding customer confidence and enhancing individual experiences by harnessing the power of innovation and technology is preparing the South Australian utility to respond as its customers and the world evolve. A sustained focus on ensuring its water services are more accessible for thousands of customers living with a disability or medical condition has seen SA Water’s industry-leading project break new ground. SA Water General Manager of Customers, Strategy and Innovation, Anna Jackson, said it’s hoped their nation-first trial in the state’s mid north will make it easier for elderly customers to keep an eye on their water usage. “Water meters are usually found hidden away at ground level where our network of water mains meet customer pipes, and this can make it tough for those with limited eyesight or restricted mobility to safely access their meter,” Ms Jackson said. “After listening to local customer Frank’s concerns and ideas, our team in Peterborough challenged the status quo and adopted technology used in the United Kingdom, allowing Frank’s meter to be raised to eye level, making it easier to read. “The innovative ‘groundbreaker’ box is made from recycled materials and is insulated, which means the meter can function as normal while protecting it from the region’s sub-zero winter morning frosts. “Frank has so far provided great feedback on his new meter, and we look forward to continuing to work together on getting as much information as we can to assess the capabilities of this trial in the future.” SA WATER GENERAL MANAGER OF CUSTOMERS, STRATEGY AND INNOVATION, ANNA JACKSON

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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SA WATER DISTRICT LEADER FOR CLARE AND MID-MURRAY, DAVID DALY, AND CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE WORKER, CONNOR DALY, WITH THE NEW GROUNDBREAKER BOX AT FRANK'S HOME

TAKING WATER METER TAPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL Running parallel as part of SA Water’s Wider World Accessible Services initiative, new customer water meter taps are also being trialled with a select group of 20 customers in regional areas across South Australia. The two types of meter tap are designed to be maintenance-free and significantly easier to turn. The new devices will be put to the test in towns with diverse climate conditions and differing water quality, such as the level of hardness. “Designing products and services with accessibility at the core is a fundamental capability we’re embedding across our business, and our team identified the opportunity to investigate how we could improve our water meters after ongoing feedback from our customers about leaking and hard to turn taps,” Ms Jackson said. “One of the taps we’re trialling is endorsed by Arthritis Australia – it’s significantly easier to turn and will remain pliable over time, which is extremely beneficial for customers and supports the one in four South Australians living with arthritis or another similar medical condition. “Adopting universal design principles to drive adaptive services not only ensures all of our customers benefit, but satisfies key requirements of South Australia’s first State Disability Inclusion Plan.” Instead of using a washer, the new tap harnesses the meter’s water pressure to turn off the seal, and its unique reverse thread pushes the sealing mechanism and seat together when operating – requiring less effort from the user. Upon completion of the trial in March 2020, SA Water will remove the taps and analyse them for any degradation as UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

well as perform product quality testing through its worldleading laboratory arm, the Australian Water Quality Centre. “Engaging in constructive and meaningful dialogue is continuing to help drive the enhancement of our services, ultimately leading to an improved experience for all of our customers,” Ms Jackson said. “We have worked closely with our customers over the past few years to understand what they value and expect from the services we provide, and as part of our upcoming regulatory business plan, Our Plan 2020-24, we’re focusing investment in our IT capabilities to help drive better customer outcomes. “This includes our improved Customer Relationship Management system, which will help us provide more timely, relevant and accurate information to our customers in the event of a temporary service interruption, and simplify their interactions with us so we can resolve issues upon first contact. “Through initiatives like this, we’re enhancing the experience our customers have when they are interacting with us, and improving the way our people work – again, so our customers receive a better service.” SA Water submitted Our Plan 2020-2024 to independent economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA), in November 2019. The plan outlines the way the utility proposes to operate and deliver water and sewerage services to customers over the four-year regulatory period. ESCOSA is currently taking public submissions as part of its review process of SA Water’s business plan, with a final decision expected in May 2020. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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SOLAR

THE INGENIOUS SOLAR PROJECT

GAINING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION by Siobhan Day, Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

Five years ago, USC Australia set a goal to be carbon neutral across all its university campuses by 2025 and committed to an ambitious Carbon Management Plan. An innovative ‘water battery’ was the first major step on the university’s path toward carbon neutrality, with the project demonstrating a commitment to emissions reduction, education and industry collaboration.

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SOLAR

U

nder its Carbon Management Plan, the university aims to achieve energy abatement on its campuses as widely as possible, rather than simply purchasing carbon offsets. This means the focus is on energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities. A fruitful partnership between USC and resource management company Veolia is behind the recent project that is gaining international attention for its ingenuity and resourcefulness. USC Chief Operating Officer, Dr Scott Snyder, said the university was well-positioned to make it work. “USC has the benefit of being a young and growing university with a lot of environmental and engineering expertise on our research, academic and professional staff. That’s allowed us to be informed and nimble, and allowed us the flexibility and foresight to do things differently,” Mr Snyder said.

thermal energy storage tank, or ‘water battery’. Dennis Frost, Manager, Energy and Infrastructure at USC, took up the challenge. “We didn’t want to just throw solar panels on the roof and forget about it,” Mr Frost said. “In Australia, air conditioning and ventilation is one of the most significant contributors to the carbon footprint of large organisations and, in southern Queensland, the most appropriate source of renewable energy is solar energy. This led the team at USC to focus on channelling solar energy to increase the efficiency of the air conditioning process.”

HOW IT WORKS The innovative system chooses the best source of energy based on changing weather conditions. Part of the unique system includes a series of closed water loops, where water is kept cool enough to use within campus air conditioning. This is achieved through a combination of heat transfer technology and centrifugal chillers – all powered by solar energy. The 6,000 solar panels generate 2.1MW of power, with any excess electricity going towards powering the campus or back into the grid. The centrifugal chillers use environmentally friendly HFO refrigerant in a heat transfer process that cools the water contained in water

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX Reducing emissions is an enormous challenge and it requires ‘out of the box’ thinking. Wanting to show the world that with sophisticated engineering design, the right partnerships, and innovative financial and legal agreement, major change can be achieved on a relatively small budget, the university set to work on a UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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SOLAR

The ingenious solar project gaining international attention

loop 1 – the ‘water battery loop’. In this loop, water from the university lake is used to remove heat from the chillers during the chilling process. The warm water is then cooled in cooling towers, the water evaporates and returns to the earth as rain. By using the lake water, the university is saving 802ML of potable water. In water loop 2, water contained in the ‘water battery’ – a 4.5ML chilled water tank insulated to avoid any thermal energy loss – is circulated to a heat exchange plant. The plant cools and removes heat from the chilled water loop and returns it to the top of the ‘water battery’. Water loop 3 is the ‘chilled water loop’. Water in this loop is circulated throughout the campus and used in a heat exchange to supply cold air and remove heat from air conditioning systems throughout the loop. By generating its own energy to operate the air conditioning systems, the university has saved over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and cut campus grid energy use by 40 per cent.

REAL-LIFE CLASSROOM The project also included the development of a high-end plant room that not only incorporated innovative engineering solutions, but is also designed to function as a teaching and learning space. The team at USC sees the entire project as a classroom that it wants to share with its students – now and well into the future. Every aspect of the project will be studied by students in business, science, engineering, sustainability and other departments. This will include student visits to site, guest lectures and more.

“By using the system as a ‘living laboratory’, our teaching staff are able to demonstrate sustainability, innovation and energy efficiencies so that students, in turn, are able to demonstrate leadership in sustainability when they graduate,” Mr Frost said. Student engineers have already engaged with the case study, helping Veolia engineers assess the current energy usage of each campus building. “The ‘water battery’ was the first major step on our path towards carbon neutrality. USC is building a new campus at Moreton Bay set to open for Semester 1 this year and based on the success of this project at the Sunshine Coast campus, they have similar exciting ideas in the works,” Mr Frost said.

COLLABORATION A large team from USC and Veolia was involved in the project, led at USC by Dr Snyder; Mr Frost; Director of Asset Management, Iona Beauly; and at Veolia by CEO, Danny Conlon; Director of Energy, Grant Winn; and

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Regional Energy Services Manager, Queensland, Andrew Darr. USC has a long-standing relationship with Veolia, who was initially providing air conditioning maintenance services. “Based on this relationship, we approached Veolia with an idea to build an innovative system that integrated large-scale solar PV with the storage of chilled water for air conditioning purposes and they enthusiastically came on board,” Mr Frost said. “The trust and transparency we had established allowed us to navigate a changing landscape to develop the technical and commercial concepts together.” In addition to designing the system itself, it was also necessary to develop a business model under which the project could proceed. To this end, the partners used the BOOT model (Build, Operate, Own, Transfer) to develop the contract, under which: • Veolia designed and built the infrastructure, in close collaboration with USC

Veolia will own, operate and maintain the infrastructure for a period of ten years, after which ownership will transfer to USC • USC will purchase electricity and chilled water from Veolia at an agreed price for ten years Veolia Director of Energy, Grant Winn, said, “Ultimately, it was the strength of the partnership between USC and Veolia that underpinned the entire project and enabled it to succeed.” Mr Frost said, “Initially, we intended to work with Veolia to design and implement the project but once the feasibility study began and the scale of the project became apparent, it became clear that we were not in a position to fund the full project.” Veolia and USC then worked together to develop the business arrangement. Using a Queensland Government procurement guideline (the MarketLed Proposal), USC granted Veolia a six-month exclusivity period to design the system and develop the

SOLAR

The ingenious solar project gaining international attention

economic modelling, with both parties agreeing on a transparent, open book arrangement whereby Veolia and USC would share all information relevant to the project. Not only has the university had no capital outlay, but it is also expected that the project will lead to over $100 million in savings.

RECOGNITION Both the project and Mr Frost have been recognised for the project, winning a plethora of awards. The university and Veolia won the Out of the Box category at the 2019 6th Global District Energy Climate Awards in Iceland. Dennis Frost won Practitioner of the Year at the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association Clever Campus Awards, as well as the Green Gowns Australasia’s Individual category – ACTS Award of Excellence Staff.

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InEight.com/Utility

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

LEFT TO RIGHT: DR PETER WONG AND JIGNESH PATEL, PROJECT MANAGER AT JEMENA

The future of energy:

DISTRIBUTED AND DECENTRALISED

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) have the power to revolutionise the way Australia produces and uses electricity, with many homes and businesses already generating their own energy. Now, an exciting new project is implementing novel technologies and systems to further increase the uptake of DER, with trials planned to explore how existing electricity infrastructure can better respond to expected growth in the use of solar and other technologies.

T

he Creating Solar Friendly Neighbourhoods trial, taking place in Greenvale, Victoria, running from November 2019 to February 2021. The trial is an alliance between Jemena, AusNet Services and the University of NSW, Sydney, and is supported by the Hume City Council and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The trials, which are being undertaken in Jemena and AusNet Services’ electricity distribution networks, will use new technologies to improve the ability of network operators to monitor the low-voltage network, while intelligent systems proactively manage grid power and voltage to increase DER penetration.

MANAGING INCREASED DER According to Jemena’s Network Technology and Measurement Manager, Dr Peter Wong, the existing infrastructure of the electricity grid is experiencing increased pressure as more customers install rooftop solar and move towards electric vehicles and other electric alternatives that require heavy electricity usage. “The electricity distribution grid is designed to transmit electricity from central power stations, not from distributed ‘power stations’ in the form of rooftop solar systems,” Dr Wong said. “In addition, solar has variable generation characteristics due to the amount of sun available at different times of the year, cloud cover and shading that sometimes occurs during the day which can further affect the quality and reliability of electricity supply.” Eager to overcome these challenges, Jemena is participating in the Creating Solar Friendly Neighbourhoods

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trial to support the growth of solar in a sustainable way, with the trial in Greenvale involving 110 Jemena customers. “This area was chosen as around 25 per cent of our customers in this area have rooftop solar compared to an overall average of ten per cent for our whole network,” Dr Wong said.

TECHNOLOGY ON TRIAL In order to better meet changing energy demand, maintain quality and reliability of supply and utilise excess power generated by rooftop solar during the day, three intelligent control technologies are being introduced in the trial. These include dynamic phase switching, dynamic power compensation and a grid battery. This trial is the first time the dynamic phase switching and dynamic power consumption technologies are being used in Australia. These technologies are designed to: • Allow more customers to install rooftop solar to feed more renewable energy into the grid by introducing dynamic phase switching • Better utilise rooftop solar by introducing a grid battery to store excess solar-generated power for use during peak demand times • Balance the load, stabilise voltages, increase efficiency, decrease the likelihood of power outages, and allow more customers to install rooftop solar by introducing dynamic power compensation The project is also expected to demonstrate how power electronics technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) communication and autonomous software programs can alter network characteristics on a real-time basis, promoting more DER to export energy into the network. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

“The learnings from this trial will help Jemena to plan for future integration of intelligent technologies within the existing electricity grid, benefitting all customers in Jemena’s network in the future,” Dr Wong said.

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT While Jemena and AusNet Services are each working at different network locations, the companies are both demonstrating two technologies to compare the performance of phase shifting and power compensation at locations with different characteristics. This allows the technologies to be tested and observed under different network and environmental conditions. “For example, the AusNet Services demonstration site is in a heavily vegetated area with a combination of open-wire and insulated conductors, whereas the Jemena site is in a flat suburban terrain with open-wire construction,” Dr Wong said. A number of test cases will be run where the technologies will be required to perform according to the design principles and equipment specifications to assess the technical performance of the technologies and software used in the trial. “Extensive data collection will be undertaken during the test cases and at normal operation. The data will be analysed to assess the technical performance of the technologies and automation software,” Dr Wong said. CHALLENGES AND OUTCOMES According to Dr Wong, integration of new technologies

Oxygen Analysers, Relative Humidity Sensors and Meters, Dewpoint Measurement

into the existing grid could pose installation and operational challenges. “The response crew needs to be trained for timely response on the new equipment. Finding land suitable for installation of the battery cubicle is also a challenge,” Dr Wong said. Though these challenges may be difficult to work through, overcoming them will lead to exciting outcomes for participating customers, as well as the energy industry. The benefits of the trial include: • Existing solar customers will be able to feed more excess power into the grid • More customers will be able to add rooftop solar generation with less restrictions • Improvement in reliability of supply • More local supply during high usage times Traditional low-voltage distribution networks are not designed for the two-way flow of electricity created by DER, resulting in reliability, power quality and safety challenges. With existing technologies, once a certain level of DER penetration is reached, new connections must be restricted. This project will demonstrate how power electronics technologies, IoT communication and autonomous software programs can dynamically alter network characteristics to allow more DER to export energy into the network. This will relieve local network constraints that hinder the provision of new DER services.

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Industrial Water Analysers and Liquid Analytical Products (pH, Conductivity, ORP, Dissolved Oxygen, etc)

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EMBEDDED NETWORKS

Embedded networks serve hundreds and thousands of Australians who live and work in apartment buildings, shopping centres, retirement villages, caravan parks and office buildings. These networks can provide cost benefits to those who draw energy from them by making use of innovative products and services. However, as the number of consumers using embedded networks has risen in the past few years, so too has the number of reports of negative experiences. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has conducted a review into embedded networks and made recommendations for changes to the laws and rules designed to strike a balance between protecting consumers and facilitating owners and operators.

PROVIDING GREATER PROTECTION TO

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EMBEDDED NETWORKS

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s Australia’s population grows, our cities, suburbs and towns are changing and adapting. Our city skylines are growing more dense as multi-storey buildings are erected, and shopping centres are constructed and expanded, often to include high-density residential developments. Meanwhile, our suburbs are being transformed as houses are replaced by multidwelling developments. In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of occupied apartments, including flats and units, has risen by 78 per cent in the past 25 years. And this number is continuing to grow, with more than ten per cent of Australians calling an apartment home on the night of the last census.

COMMUNAL NETWORKS Embedded networks are private electricity networks that enable owners to purchase energy as an “exempt seller” and then on-sell it to residents and business owners at the site. These networks were originally designed for small networks, such as caravan parks, but in recent years have been developed to service apartment blocks and other facilities, such as retirement villages, shopping centres and office buildings. In December 2016, the COAG Energy Council engaged the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to carry out a review of the regulatory arrangements for embedded networks. This review was designed to determine whether the existing arrangements continue to be appropriate, identify and assess any issues, and suggest potential solutions. The AEMC released its report in 2017 which outlined that the framework that governs exempt sellers was “no longer fit for purpose in the face of the growth in the number and scope of embedded networks”. The review found that while embedded networks could provide some benefits to consumers, the framework did “not strike an appropriate balance between innovation, consumer protection and facilitating consumer access to retail market competition”. In particular, it revealed that in some cases consumers could not access competitive market prices because they didn’t have a market-compliant meter; they had difficulty accessing rebates and concessions; and were not afforded protection relating to life support arrangements and outage notifications. In addition, there were reports of customers being overcharged and not able to connect some appliances due to capacity limitations. The review also identified that customers did not have access to ombudsmen, and that embedded networks were not bound by reliability standards and Guaranteed Service Levels. According to Andrew Truswell, the AEMC Director leading its work on embedded networks, another outcome has been that many consumers are locked into uncompetitive arrangements. “Customers in embedded networks are not always able to access competitive retail offers and generally do not benefit from the same consumer protections as customers elsewhere,” Mr Truswell said.

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EMBEDDED NETWORKS ACTIONING CHANGE Based on this review, the AEMC proposed law and rule changes to update the regulatory framework for embedded networks. It released a draft reform package for embedded networks in January 2019, and its final recommendations in July. This followed extensive consultation with consumers, embedded network operators, retailers, developers, ombudsmen, state governments and renewable advocates. Mr Truswell said adopting the recommendations would give people in private networks the same protections as customers who were directly connected to the grid by allowing obligations relating to consumer protections and retail market competition to apply directly to embedded networks and be more readily enforced. “The changes would allow the arrangements for retail market competition to work seamlessly and provide all the consumer protections that would usually be associated with being supplied by an authorised retailer,” Mr Truswell said. BLUEPRINT TO GUIDE NETWORKS INTO THE FUTURE Mr Truswell said that once well regulated, embedded networks could offer benefits to consumers. “Embedded networks can allow for savings to customers through bulk buying and provide other benefits, for instance through integrating on-site solar generation or battery storage,” Mr Truswell said. “Our recommendations aim to strike a balance by allowing for innovation while providing important consumer protections to customers.” The changes would give embedded network customers: • Improved consumer protections in areas including disconnections, billing information, payment options and notification of planned outages • Access to customer hardship programs and continuity of supply in the event of retailer failure

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Stronger regulation, enhancing the Australian Energy Regulator’s ability to enforce compliance with obligations to provide protections • Access to competitively priced market offers • Market-compliant meters that are registered with AEMO, which make it easier for customers to switch retailer and get better information about their usage and bills • The same rights as grid-connected customers when upgrading their connections • Improved access to state government services such as concession schemes and emergency financial assistance; access to independent dispute resolution; and reliability Implementing these reforms will require collaboration. “The COAG Energy Council, Australian Energy Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator, as well as state governments, regulators and ombudsman, all have a role to play in delivering these important reforms,” Mr Truswell said. The proposed framework will be implemented after the COAG Energy Council has redrafted electricity and energy retail laws, based on the AEMC’s proposals, and the laws have been submitted to the South Australian Parliament and the South Australian Minister has made the proposed rule changes. It is anticipated this could occur by mid-2020. Following the making of the law and rule changes, the AER and AEMO will need to update a number of guidelines, procedures and systems. State governments, regulators and ombudsmen will also need to consider and implement any required changes to jurisdictional regulations. All new embedded networks will become subject to the new laws and rules twelve months after they are made, following the completion of these additional implementation steps.

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PLAYING A PIVOTAL ROLE IN TASMANIA’S CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE The Granville Harbour Wind Farm will capitalise on Tasmania’s enviable wind potential while helping the state achieve its target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022. Zinfra, one of Australia's leading utility infrastructure service providers, was responsible for designing and constructing the transmission line connecting the wind farm to the grid, giving the wind farm a physical connection to Tasmania’s energy network and bringing the state closer to delivering a new source of clean energy to households and businesses. Zinfra was able to make light work of the challenging conditions to deliver another successful grid connection project, showcasing its experience and expertise in the renewables sector.

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ituated near Zeehan, on the picturesque west coast of Tasmania, the $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm will produce up to 112MW of clean, renewable energy when complete – enough to power around 46,000 homes. The 31-turbine wind farm is connected to the Tasmanian grid via a 12.5km transmission line that joins up to a connection point at the existing Reece Dam. Zinfra was engaged by TasNetworks to design and construct the 11km single circuit 220kV steel pole transmission line, a 220kV switching station and a 1.5km dual circuit 220kV lattice steel tower transmission line across the Reece Dam wall, connecting into the Hydro Tasmania Reece Power Station. Works commenced in September 2018 and included: vegetation management; construction of temporary and permanent access tracks; benching and levelling of the construction area; design and construction of transmission

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line foundations; supply and erection of poles and towers; and all associated stringing activities. The switching station plant included disconnectors, circuit breakers, capacitive voltage transformers and a prefabricated control building to house the protection and control systems.

A QUALITY OUTCOME IN CHALLENGING CONDITIONS Stephen Mayoh, Senior Project Manager at Zinfra, said that he was proud of his team for completing the project on time despite the challenging conditions. “It was a tight timeframe when you take into account the weather conditions that you get on the west coast. We also overcame several other challenges and still met the timeframe, which was a great result,” Mr Mayoh said. Occurring on the Tasmanian west coast, the project area receives a high monthly rainfall average exceeding 200mm. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


The construction of all-weather access tracks and hardstands allowed the foundation construction to continue despite these high rainfalls, including the wettest month on record for 50 years. Mr Mayoh said that the transmission line also traversed environmentally sensitive areas. “The approved alignment for the line was designed to follow existing roadways and easements to minimise impacts on sensitive environments,” Mr Mayoh said. “Helicopter stringing, a technique we use for when we’re stringing the wires, helped us further minimise any impact to vegetation. “Where practical, the height of vegetation for the clearance zone was increased towards the structures where wires were higher and in low areas such as gullies and creeks where there was increased ground clearance (as the line spans between elevated terrain points). “A fauna management plan was also developed specifically to protect native species that may have been present on site. All on-site personnel were trained to identify all threatened species likely to be encountered. “We also had constrained tower sites, with one particular tower site (89A) located on a steep hillside where there was an existing tower in place. “A 3D modelling of tower 89A’s location was undertaken to provide optimum benching requirements to accommodate the tower and maintain access to the existing tower 90. This exercise ensured we could fit the new tower safely and identify foundation systems that suited its location.” Mr Mayoh highlighted that the one other challenge throughout the project was the poor ground conditions encountered along the transmission line, which added extra pressure on an already complex project. “There were a number of sites where a high groundwater table was encountered and we had to change our foundation systems, including the addition of large piers to achieve bearing capacity,” Mr Mayoh said. “We also went with a micropile pole foundation, which offered some significant savings for the client over alternative foundations considered. It was a one-off, but we wanted to provide the best outcome for both the site and the client.”

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Utility Partner Solutions

COLLABORATION CRUCIAL TO A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT OUTCOME Zinfra shared site offices with the TasNetworks project team, working closely together as part of its commitment to effective stakeholder management. “Another key stakeholder was Hydro Tasmania. We drew on our previous experience working with them and the relationship we have built with Hydro Tasmania, to help overcome any challenges we faced,” Mr Mayoh said. “We also had regular meetings and contact with the owners of the wind farm to inform them of our progress and to coordinate construction activities. “From a safety and quality side of things, Zinfra has processes and procedures in place to ensure we’re delivering successful project outcomes. The team all had a really positive attitude which helped contribute to approximately 55,000 hours of work with no lost time injury.” Mr Mayoh stated that one of the things he has found working in the renewables space is that once a project gets approval, there are tight timeframes on construction schedules. “The way that Zinfra was able to react and make sure it could hit the required commissioning times reflects highly on our skills and capabilities. When we encountered issues with the ground conditions and tower foundations on this project, we were able to move quickly to resequence activities and resource up to ensure we still met those key project milestones.” Zinfra achieved practical completion in November 2019, and the wind farm is expected to be fully operational by mid-2020. For more information on Zinfra’s services and capabilities, visit www.zinfra.com.au. Offering a comprehensive range of maintenance, operations, engineering and construction services, Zinfra is your trusted partner in energy.

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SWITCHING THINGS UP AT A BROWNFIELD ALICE SPRINGS SUBSTATION

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he 11kV air insulated switchgear (AIS), which was originally sourced for another project a number of years ago, has been retrofitted to make it suitable for use at the corporation’s Sadadeen Substation. This $12 million project will see the construction of a new building and installation of the switchgear to replace existing systems approaching the end of their life. “The electricity needs of Alice Springs have been changing over the years, and we’re very conscious of the need to ensure the reliability and security of the power network is maintained,” Sam Bakara, Project Manager at Power and Water, said. “This project has allowed us to further invest in the future of Alice Springs while also developing capacity and knowledge to undertake further upgrades to other aging substation assets in the future.”

OVERCOMING BROWNFIELD SITE CHALLENGES The Sadadeen site posed additional challenges for Power and Water as it is an operational brownfield site. The design and construction phase required multiple engineering skillsets, including high and low voltage electrical, communications, civil, building and mechanical expertise. In terms of works, the project required the installation of new underground electrical conduits and connection to existing aboveground distribution assets at a number of fixed locations.

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It also saw the construction of a new switchroom building and indoor equipment on Power and Water-owned land, adjacent to the existing substation, and connections to the existing outdoor transformers and equipment. New underground conduits will also be installed within the Sadadeen Substation site. “Working with our contractors, we’ve had to take special care to ensure these ongoing works involve minimal disruptions to the power supply of Alice Springs, especially as it can reach temperatures of up to 40° Celsius in summer,” Mr Bakara said. “Additionally, we have had to take careful measures in the installation of new infrastructure due to existing underground services potentially being in the way. “These include existing services like water, sewerage, gas, diesel, telecommunications and power services infrastructure.”

RETROFIT SOLUTION A PRACTICAL CHOICE According to Mr Bakara, the choice of whether to repurpose the switchgear that had been in storage was carefully considered and assessed as a cost-efficient solution. Additional work was required to retrofit Power and Water’s existing equipment to ensure it was fit-for-purpose to operate in the Sadadeen network. Consideration was also given to the type of switchgear used. “AIS was chosen as it complies with our standard WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


SWI T CHG E AR

A brownfield high-voltage substation construction project in Alice Springs by Power and Water Corporation has seen a new lease on life for previously unused switchgear.

arrangement for switchgear. The other option was gas insulated switchgear (GIS),” Mr Bakara said. “There are benefits to both using AIS or GIS switchgear; it really depends on the application. “One of the main benefits for AIS is its historically competitive cost compared to GIS. However, GIS works well if there are constraints in the land available as GIS is much more compact than AIS.” Modern protection and control equipment will also be installed to operate the system, prevent equipment damage and ensure the safety of the network. “This equipment is installed remote to the switchgear, but has a direct interface to the switchgear through low-voltage wiring and other communication channels,” Mr Bakara said. UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

The retrofitted panels were transported almost 1,500km to Alice Springs from Darwin after undergoing final test and protection checks in early November 2019. “The switchgear will then require connection of high-voltage feeder cables from below the switchgear,” Mr Bakara said. “We’ve designed the switchroom so that the cables enter the building via cable ducts and are installed at the bottom of the cable ducts. “Finally, the switchgear will be tested and commissioned after installation, and energised into service.” The construction works are scheduled to be completed by April 2020, with testing and commissioning into service commencing May 2020. The new equipment is expected to be fully operational by August 2020. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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Utility Partner Solutions

Solutions to prevent

OVERHEATING OF CRITICAL SWITCHGEAR Overheating is one of the single biggest causes of failure in critical low-voltage switchgear, such as Moulded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCBs) and Air Circuit Breakers (ACBs). Modern circuit protection is provided by digital, microprocessorbased overcurrent relays which are operated by measuring current flow, not heat. Therefore, abnormal heating caused by loose connection bolts, ventilation failure or worn contacts is usually left undetected by conventional circuit protection devices. This abnormal heating can lead to premature failure of switchgear and also constitutes a potential fire hazard.

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any power-critical applications such as data centres, hospitals, utilities and mining sites use technology such as thermal imaging to help identify overheating in switchboards, but this method is only valid for a specific ‘snapshot’ in time. Recent developments within microprocessor-based circuit breakers provide the option of monitoring the temperature of the contacts and terminals continuously, which can substantially minimise downtime and reduce the risk of fire. If an abnormal condition was detected, this information would be communicated to the Building Management System (BMS) to enable the facility managers to plan for preventative maintenance before a critical power outage or fire incident occurred. NHP is proud to bring a system unique to Terasaki ACBs that provides condition-based temperature monitoring as an option. This fully integrated temperature condition monitoring system continually checks for overheating abnormalities that could be due to an issue with the main conductors, contacts and connections – or as this temperature monitoring concept is known within the European electrical industry, 3C. The status and wear of the contacts is determined by the temperature measurement using NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) thermistors. Self-diagnosis is achieved by direct measurement of physical properties. Each phase of the circuit breaker contact is fitted with its own thermistor. The thermistor will analyse all three phases continuously, every ten milliseconds. The thermistors used are in a glass encapsulated package, diode outline, with axial tinned dumet (Copper-Clad Ni-Fe) wire.

CONTINUOUS TEMPERATURE MONITORING It is important to distinguish between direct, continuous measurement and algorithmic modelling contact wear indications. The latter is inherently less accurate and therefore more likely to result in false alarms or reduced protection.

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Direct continuous monitoring of the contact temperature provides valuable input for preventative and predictive maintenance programs. Should an abnormal temperature occur, the ACB’s integrated protection relay will generate an overheat alarm on the panel-mounted LCD screen, close a volt-free output contact and deliver a message to the Modbus network. To complement the integrated circuit breaker over temperature protection and extend the level of monitoring to other areas of the switchboard, such as busbar zones, external 3C modules can be used. These external modules use non-conductive fibre-optic probes which can be fixed directly to a busbar via a special terminating lug. The temperature is measured by pulsing a laser down the fibre-optic cable to a phosphor dot located on the terminating lug. The phosphor dot is excited by the laser and starts to glow. The module then measures how long the phosphor glows (which is linked to the temperature) and then calculates the temperature that can be communicated over the network. This information enables facility managers to plan for any necessary maintenance. The implementation of condition monitoring techniques such as this can be equally applied to older installations as well as new builds. End customers considering retrofit solutions to replace aging switchgear can also take advantage of new solutions such as this when considering the replacement or upgrade of their protection and switchgear. For more information, contact your local NHP consultant or visit www.nhp.com.au. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

g n i g n a h c e m Ga TECHNOLOGY

HIGHLIGHTS THE RISKS OVERHEAD Energy Queensland has 1.7 million power poles and over 225,000km of overhead and underground powerlines across Queensland. Unfortunately, powerlines are accidentally contacted by workers all too frequently, which can result in severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Ergon Energy and Energex, as part of Energy Queensland, have developed a lifesaving tool to help improve safety around powerlines, that was formally recognised at the Safe Work Awards as Queensland’s ‘best solution to an identified electrical issue’.

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Game-changing technology highlights the risks overhead

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ook Up and Live is an online mapping application that pinpoints the location of 210,000km of overhead powerlines and 1.7 million poles across Queensland. Energy Queensland’s network businesses, Ergon and Energex, have been running a general campaign around powerline awareness and safety for some time now, and the online application is an extension of this. Aaron Smith, HSE Business Partner and Community Safety Manager at Energy Queensland, said the utility’s team of community safety specialists has been collecting statistics on accidental powerline contacts for over ten years to better understand why these incidents are occurring and how they could be prevented. “From our investigation of powerline incidents, a clear issue stands out – a distinct lack of planning and powerline awareness. This lack of planning leads to workers not identifying any of the risks or hazards and therefore using no hierarchy of control to mitigate them,” Mr Smith said. “The team fosters a positive and proactive association of powerline safety messages within the community by building awareness of the dangers of accidental contact with powerlines – via our program of engaging, educating and enabling workers. “The Look Up and Live tool enables behaviour change by helping workers to adequately plan work and put effective controls in place, such as de-energisation, relocations, augmenting lines, and safety observers and/or rotamarkers (powerline markers) to highlight powerlines and keep persons clear.” The Look Up and Live application runs on ESRI’s ArcGIS platform and took nearly four years to develop, test and gain final approvals.

“The Community Safety team worked with members of our Digital Enablement and Asset Safety teams internally to build a product that would be easy for ‘at risk’ industries and general members of the public to use. It was built at a very low cost with existing tools and technology, imagery and publicly available GIS data incorporating roads, local government boundaries and land use,” Mr Smith said. “Once the tool was built, the teams gained approval to trial it with members of ‘at risk’ industries to gauge usability and collect feedback from industry groups. Feedback was very positive, and the tool was then made available at lookupandlive.com.au. After approval from internal stakeholders at Energy Queensland, the tool was released for public use in April 2019. “Essentially this tool and process is similar to a Dial Before You Dig request, but provides an interactive self-serve safety tool for overhead powerlines. For example, if used at the quoting stage of a construction site, the overhead powerline hazard could be eliminated by contacting the asset owner to have the lines removed and replaced with underground powerlines, or they could be de-energised when work needs to be performed around them. “The teams are still taking feedback on the tool, including adding extra features that have been requested such as the ability to export data as kml or kmz files so it overlays onto existing GPS systems; an instant quoting tool to give indications of the cost of de-energising, relocating or raising powerlines; and an online risk assessment form incorporating imagery and powerline overlays.”

THE LOOK UP AND LIVE APPLICATION FEATURES: • • • • • • • • • • • 72

Free access at www.lookupandlive.com.au Simple powerline overlay onto imagery Works on all devices, including phones and tablets Includes exclusion zone overlays Displays voltages and indicates the owners of powerlines User can start different safety processes, for example to have a powerline removed from a property or order the installation of a powerline marker User can draw/write on the map then print out the plan for their property or construction site Instantly share your location or screen via email with contractors/workers Quick links to order free safety stickers Quick links to watch safety videos Quick link to start a Dial Before You Dig enquiry UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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A VALUABLE ADDITION TO THE PLANNING TOOLKIT The application is targeted towards ‘at risk’ industries, such as building and construction, agriculture, aviation, vegetation management, road transport and earthmoving. Mr Smith said these industries are most at risk due to lack of planning and inattentional blindness. “All these accidents are avoidable and mainly occur due to inattentional blindness, which is when an individual fails to perceive danger in plain sight, such as powerlines. Put simply we plan to work near the powerlines we cannot see. There is the Dial Before You Dig tool for identifying underground assets, but there has never been a tool for planning work near overhead powerlines,” Mr Smith said. “We have put ourselves in the shoes of workers and geospatially overlaid powerlines onto imagery enabling workers and the community to effectively plan work near powerlines. The user is now able to look at the worksite from a new vantage point and identify the electrical hazards, assess powerline risks, implement appropriate control measures and access links with additional safety advice.” Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves. In Queensland, an average of 750 accidental contacts with powerlines occur each year – at least one person is electrocuted and approximately 15 people are injured. The Queensland Electrical Safety Act 2002 stipulates that powerlines up to 132,000V must have a 3m exclusion zone

MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

Game-changing technology highlights the risks overhead

for untrained persons, but most people are unaware of this requirement for safe work near powerlines. “The Community Safety team now share this tool when engaged in face-to-face discussions at industry events and when delivering powerline safety talks, as well as through social media, editorials and advertisements,” Mr Smith said. “Our vision is to market this tool nationally to raise powerline safety awareness and reduce accidental powerline contacts. “Feedback from ‘at risk’ industries has been very positive and has seen an increase in requests for safety advice and rotamarkers. We have had tremendous feedback from companies such as Fulton Hogan, John Holland, Aerial Applicators Association of Australia (AAAA), Cotton Australia, Agforce, and local government councils and structural designers across Queensland.” The Look Up and Live tool was recognised at the 2019 Queensland Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, winning the ‘best solution to an identified electrical issue’ category, which recognises excellence in developing and implementing a solution to an identified workplace electrical safety issue. The tool was also recognised by the AAAA at its National Convention and Trade Show, taking out the 2019 Leland Snow Innovation Award.

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While global positioning systems (GPS) can currently provide 5-10m accuracy, more precise positioning is increasingly important for applications in civil engineering, construction, disaster response, flood and storm modelling and more. Utility spoke to Nicholas Brown, Director of National Geodesy at Geoscience Australia, about the $225 million Positioning Australia program, upgrades to the Australian Geospatial Reference System, and the impact on the Australian utility industry.

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ccording to Mr Brown, the majority of growth in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sales is within emerging markets such as location-based services, intelligent transport and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Positioning Australia program will provide accurate and reliable positioning for everyone. The aim is to accelerate the adoption and development of location-based technology and applications. “In anticipation for the growing use and reliance on precise positioning technology, the Permanent Committee on Geodesy is leading the upgrade of a number of elements of Australia’s Geospatial Reference System including the static datum, the introduction of a time-dependent reference frame, improved geodetic infrastructure, and standards development to improve access and efficiency of geodetic data,” Mr Brown said.

For utilities, the introduction of the Australian Terrestrial Reference Frame (ATRF) and the Australian Vertical Working Surface (AVWS) from 1 January 2020 will have a significant impact on the delivery of projects and operations involving precise spatial and positional data, improving accuracy, efficiency and safety.

BENEFITS FOR THE UTILITY INDUSTRY The utility sector is a significant user of spatial information. The main benefits to this sector are in improved asset management, better management of supply and demand, and in the planning and construction of new pipelines, powerlines, generators and storages. Australian Terrestrial Reference Frame The Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020) is a static datum, which means that the coordinates

of features (e.g. roads, buildings and property boundaries), do not change with time despite the ongoing changes in the Earth’s surface. This is beneficial for applications where it is easier if the coordinates of features do not change (e.g. a major road development project). In contrast, GNSS base their coordinates on a framework that is fixed to the centre of the Earth around which satellites are orbiting. These frameworks are called ‘time-dependent reference frames’ in which the positions of features change with time due to plate tectonic motion. The ATRF is a time-dependent reference frame that means the positions of features will change with time due to plate tectonic motion, which equates to approximately 7cm per year in Australia. “Users of ATRF are expected to be predominantly from the areas of intelligent transport services and location-based services. For example, in the future, driverless cars will be receiving positioning information from GNSS satellites in ATRF and cars will be automatically requesting and receiving updated map information in ATRF to align with the car’s position,” Mr Brown explained. In 2020, Australia will adopt this two-frame approach, enabling users to work with a static datum, GDA2020, or with the ATRF. Given the diverse range of user requirements in Australia, the

POSITIONING AUSTRALIA FOR SUCCESS:

GEOSPATIAL REFERENCE

SYSTEM UPGRADES

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MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

choice of which reference frame to use (GDA2020 or ATRF) will remain with the user for the foreseeable future. Australian Vertical Working Surface For all the benefits of GDA2020 and ATRF, these upgrades only provide GNSS users with the ability to compute their position and align spatial data accurately with respect to the ellipsoid – a simplified mathematical representation of the Earth’s surface. Nonetheless, water flows in accordance with gravity, not according to the ellipsoid. “For this reason, the ellipsoid is not an appropriate reference surface for height applications relating to water flow. We use the Australian Height Datum (AHD) and a model known as AUSGeoid to convert ellipsoidal heights to AHD heights, which is roughly equivalent to the mean sea level of the ocean around Australia. However, AHD has its own problems which mean GNSS users are only capable of deriving AHD heights with an accuracy of 6-13cm across Australia. This is not suitable for some users,” Mr Brown said. The AVWS on the other hand is accurate to 4-8cm and its much smoother surface doesn’t suffer from some of the problems associated with the AHD.

“Some of the biggest beneficiaries of AVWS are expected to be those who are working on projects that require modelling or mapping water flow over areas greater than 10km. This is because the AHD has a number of distortions in it which appear as steps or bumps in the datum at distances beyond about 10km,” Mr Brown said.

THE FOUNDATION TO DATADRIVEN DECISION-MAKING The main challenge that comes with greater accuracy is that there are new considerations – with professionals from the spatial industry being the bridge between the complexities of geodesy and user requirements. “For example, when attempting to measure something at the millimetre level compared to the centimetre level, geodesists need more stable site foundations, more expensive receivers, geodetic style antennas and better atmospheric models,” Mr Brown said. “Many users will have precise positioning technology in their hand but it will be up to the spatial industry to deliver data to the user which is aligned with the user’s position and in the user’s datum.” Mr Brown likened Australia’s Geospatial Reference System to the foundations of a house, providing a

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

stable, accurate and reliable frame on which accurate measurements can be made and connected together. “The importance of Geospatial Reference Systems was recognised by the United Nations in 2015 with the adoption of a General Assembly Resolution promoting the importance of an accurate, sustainable and accessible Global Geodetic Reference Frame to support science and society,” Mr Brown said. “A Geospatial Reference System underpins the collection, management and alignment of spatial information and enables us to monitor the dynamic Earth as it breathes. “In addition to the traditional survey, mapping and navigation fields, spatial information is increasingly critical for civil engineering, industrial automation, agriculture, construction, mining, recreation, intelligent transport systems, land use planning and administration, construction and hazard assessment, disaster response and emergency management, environmental studies and scientific research. “The Geospatial Reference System is the glue that allows us to align this spatial data to make better decisions.”

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DRONES

DRONE TECHNOLOGY

TAKES OFF AT

MELBOURNE WATER by Heath McMahon, Team Leader, Geospatial, Data and Surveying Services, Melbourne Water

Melbourne Water’s drone program began in mid-2017 and in a short space of time has grown and delivered a myriad of benefits across the business to become an integral and important part of our businessas-usual operations.

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DRONES

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ur early fleet included seven drones and a team of ten with Remote Pilot’s Licences (RePL) trained to operate them. Fast-track to December 2019 and Melbourne Water has expanded our capability – more than quadrupling our personnel trained in using and/or awareness of drone operations to 30. These employees are skilled in using sub 2kg drones for low-risk operations and have a strong understanding of the operating rules in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requirements for commercial drone piloting.

SAFETY IS THE KEY DRIVER The primary driver for Melbourne Water to develop its internal drone capability is safety – particularly around asset inspections. Early examples of this included inspection of the Thomson Reservoir Spillway and mapping eroded waterways where these locations were too hazardous for employees to enter. Put simply, we would much prefer to operate a drone in a dangerous location than put a person in harm’s way. Drones also allow inspection activities to be performed more quickly and safely, as they provide direct access to assets without the need for isolation, scaffolding, elevated work platforms or other infrastructure. As drone technology has evolved significantly over the past decade it has become much more accessible and the operating platforms have increased in reliability. This has allowed us to introduce drone technology as an important tool in our day-today business. A key benefit of the internal program is having our own people operating the drones because nobody knows our waterways, water and sewerage assets better than our own dedicated staff. All Melbourne Water drone operators come from various teams throughout the business rather than one centralised team. Many eyes and experience make for effective and light work! A great example of the benefit of our drone program involves the inspection of the 150m high Thomson Reservoir Spillway. This is a near vertical asset so it is extremely tricky to inspect. Using internal personnel operating drones to perform this inspection allowed Melbourne Water’s asset managers to gain a greater insight into the condition of the spillway where they could visually inspect for items such as cracking or vegetation accumulation in real time. Historically this work may have been performed by having personnel abseil the spillway – which is an extremely high-risk task. The high-quality footage from the drones and their high-zoom cameras allows us to inspect not only the spillway but also the electrical conduits adjacent to the spillway which are otherwise inaccessible. This was an unforeseen benefit of observing images from an aerial perspective. A simple and hugely beneficial learning from this inspection was altering the lens of the standard camera to increase the zoom. This allowed us to operate the drone at a safer distance further away from the spillway. The drone program allows us to deliver inspection works faster and more cost-effectively. In the past, if we were to inspect an asset such as the roof of a tank or the top of a dam UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

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Drone technology takes off at Melbourne Water

outlet tower, a scissor lift and/or staff working at height would be required. We can now quickly deploy one of our drones to perform this inspection and the operator doesn’t even have to leave the ground. That’s a win for safety and efficiency.

DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS While the actual drone is the high-profile technology many people are most attracted to, the real smarts in the technology come from how the resultant observations can create and push data-driven insights. Melbourne Water is using dronederived data on a project investigating

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smarter ways to manage vegetation surrounding our wetlands. In collaboration with FrontierSI, a not-for-profit focused on spatial technologies, we are co-developing a machine learning algorithm which will use imagery observed from the drones to automate counting and detection of plant species surrounding Melbourne Water’s approximately 500 wetlands. This will ensure we have the right balance of vegetation surrounding them, with the algorithm providing crucial environmental intelligence quickly and relatively cheaply. Melbourne Water is committed to reducing our carbon emissions via the

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establishment of new solar farms at the Eastern Treatment Plant and Winneke Water Treatment Plant. Our drones will regularly inspect these sites to ensure the panels are operating as intended and to maximum efficiency. To that end, we are exploring the use of innovative thermal imaging camera technology to ensure that the cells within the panels are doing their job. If one of the cells is damaged or defective we should easily be able to detect this through the thermal signature of the cell. There have also been many unrealised benefits of the program. We are now using and sharing our drone footage for community engagement purposes: to display the progress of our major projects; support virtual tours of our major treatment plants for schools; provide footage of Melbourne’s Water storages for media coverage; and utilising our thermal camera to observe the thermal cooling of our waterway improvement projects. We have also seen a steady increase in the demand from members of the public and contractors wanting to fly drones over Melbourne Water sites. As a result, we have upskilled our site managers so they are aware of CASA’s drone operating restrictions so that requests to fly at Melbourne Water sites are performed safely and in accordance with CASA. We capitalised on this demand to also upskill some of our site managers in the operation of sub 2kg drones so they can fully appreciate the impact and opportunity of drone technology at their sites. The last word goes to our Managing Director, Michael Wandmaker. “Our drone program is a costeffective means of supporting our core business, empowering our personnel and improving the services we provide to the public. “We will continue to look for further opportunities to capitalise on the advancements in technology to further embed the benefits of this program. We are excited as to where this innovation will continue to take us as a business.”

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PRECISION LOCATING SYSTEM

50Hz to 480kHz Frequency Range Large High-Contrast LCD Interface Lightweight & Ergonomic GPS & Data Logger Compatible Remote Link Between TX & RX 84wH Lithium-Ion Batteries 12 Watts of Output Power Constant Depth & Current 8 Locating Modes w w w. r yc o m i n s t r u m e n t s . c o m


DRONES

DRONE TRIAL

FOR WESTERN POWER

In Western Australia, Western Power connects more than two million customers over an area larger than the United Kingdom. The South West Interconnected Network (SWIN) is one of the world’s largest standalone grids and spans around 255,000 square kilometres, from Kalbarri in the north to Bremer Bay on the south coast and inland to Kalgoorlie.

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WESTERN POWER DRONE PILOTS MIKE WILLIAMSON AND ANTHONY JONES INSPECTING POWERLINES NEAR GERALDTON. PHOTO CREDIT: WESTERN POWER

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DRONES

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ith such a large network, maintenance is a challenging and ongoing part of daily operations. As part of its drive to incorporate new technologies to evolve the grid and its maintenance, Western Power is trialling Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to assist THERMAL IMAGE CAPTURED BY THE with preventative upkeep DRONE USED IN THE TRIAL. and identification of faults in PHOTO CREDIT: WESTERN POWER regional areas. The RPA (or drone) used in the trial is designed for use around electrical infrastructure and includes technology to mitigate electromagnetic interference, allowing safe navigation close to powerlines. The drone, a DJI Matrice 210, is equipped with two cameras that allow pilots to switch between a high-powered zoom lens (Zenmuse Z30) and a thermal heat-sensing camera (Zenmuse XT2 from Flir) in real time to find faults and defects that would otherwise not be detected. Using drones enables Western Power crews to inspect assets in difficult-to-reach locations and address vehicle access issues in agricultural and environmentally sensitive locations. Drones also allow crews to avoid working at heights, staying safely on the ground and away from live lines. Additionally, drones can more easily capture media (images and video) for future use and can travel a lot faster than a field crew member on foot patrol, providing greater efficiencies. They also cost less to run than other aerial resources such as helicopters. The trial is being conducted in the state’s Mid-West region around Northam and Geraldton, where severe weather events can affect power supply to critical feeder lines, impacting regional customers. The trial mirrors the existing fault response process, but with the inclusion of drone capability providing the opportunity to assess drone feasibility against current processes and systems in use. Western Power Regional North Manager, Derek Sutherland, was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. “RPAs present an opportunity to reduce costs, response times and risk relating to visual inspections of faults in our regional areas. The hope is to use drone capabilities to make inspections safer and easier for our crews and contractors, and allow for large-scale inspections, wide area incident response and the ability to gather high-quality data,” Mr Sutherland said.

EXPLORING THE BENEFITS OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY The trial is being led by Western Power Senior Operational Improvement Specialist, Alan Zanich, who is excited by the preliminary results, and the potential that drones present for the organisation in the future. “Throughout the trial we have experienced many exciting examples of the benefits of this technology, including instances where previous foot patrols had not detected faults identified by the drone, thermal imagery success in identifying hot spots on critical feeder lines, and power quality investigations that have identified defects,” Mr Zanich said. “Developing this capability internally enables immediate response to fault and emergency situations, and places Western Power in a strong position to capitalise on future opportunities including BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight), autonomous flights and AI (artificial intelligence) among others.” Western Power’s Chief Remote Pilot, Adam Portmann, manages the pilots through day-today operations and developed Western Power’s operating manuals and procedures to support the application to CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) for Western Power’s certification. As part of the trial, four Western Power field crew members completed CASA-accredited training to become remote pilots, as well as training specific to powerline inspection. “In addition to the visual inspection of faults, the team explored other opportunities presented by RPA technology during the trial, including applications in thermal asset inspections, line of sight communications and across our spectrum of asset classes such as secondary systems, and substations,” Mr Portmann said. The internal capability approach supports Western Power’s commitment to developing its workforce while also providing control and flexibility in the further development of opportunities in the drone space. Mr Portmann said the trial was nearing its conclusion and work was underway on compiling the resulting feasibility report. “So far the results have been promising and we are confident that drones will have a role to play in Western Power operations in the future,” he said. With well-developed internal pilot capability, fit-for-purpose drone equipment, and forthcoming commercial drone license, Western Power is well positioned to capitalise on the future opportunities in this space.

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Utility Partner Solutions

Similarities between

GPR AND EMF IN LOCATING UTILITIES Most utility locators have a good understanding of electromagnetic field (EMF) locators. While there are similarities between EMF and ground penetrating radar(GPR) technologies, both have their downsides and using GPR alone can be dangerous.

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imilarities between EMF and GPR locators start with frequencies – single, dual and multi array. Like an EMF locator, GPRs with more than one frequency help in most situations. GPR frequencies can range from 200-800MHz and the lower the frequency, the longer the wave, which means deeper penetration. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wave, highlighting smaller services at shallow depths. The most common low frequencies are around 250MHz. In ideal conditions these can penetrate up to 6m, but due to the composition of Australian soils, it may be difficult to reach anywhere near that. Another downside of lower frequencies is that they struggle finding smaller, shallower targets in great detail. The medium frequency range – 400-600MHz – is a good all-rounder. These frequencies don’t penetrate as deep as 250MHz, but find smaller targets in mid-to-shallow depths and locate 3m-4m deep. This is a good frequency range when using a single frequency radar. Next is the 700-800MHz range – high frequencies. These generally don’t travel more than 1-2m in depth, but are great at locating small, shallow targets which may be missed by lower frequency GPRs. A dual frequency GPR is the best option for locator professionals, varying between 200-450MHz in the deep-tomedium range, and 700-800MHz in the shallow range. Another function of GPR locators is gain. Similar to gain on EMF’s, the more gain used, the more sensitive the antennas become. But similarly having too much gain creates noise interference and can make it difficult to locate targets. There is also a difference between gain and contrast. While contrast adjusts the image on the screen by winding up variances in the image, gain adjusts the antenna sensitivity, highlighting targets that may require more sensitivity. The popularity of multi-array antennas is starting to increase. Mainly used for mapping medium-to-large areas, some units can be towed at road speeds which can fasten the process of locating utilities and remove the need for traffic control. Data collected is then processed through dedicated software to show a 3D image or tomographic map of the area. Normally, these must have a GPS/RTK antenna or total stations for position accuracy. Multi-array units also have the advantage of locating the target with several antennas along the path of the service, allowing differentiation between a rock and a pipe or cable.

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GPRs can assist in improving a Quality Level C, according to the updated AS5488 Standard, while EMFs can get to Quality Level B as the locator is physically attached to the utility. In terms of data quality and accuracy of GPRs, the standard is quite good, but soil conditions mean that accurate location cannot be guaranteed when using single, dual and multi-array antennas. Users are also unable to accurately identify what is on the screen as they aren’t physically connected to anything as a reference. It is good to think of GPRs as an excellent tool for blind searching as a whole area can be scanned using a grid or simply running across the area multiple times and marking when you detect a target – this is where multi-array antennas can speed up the process. It can also complement EMF locating and locate services that traditional EMF locators are unable to, such as plastic gas and water pipes. While it is good to understand the differences in the phase and reflections of a GPR image, it doesn’t help in determining the type of service below. To get the most out of GPR locators, training with the manufacturers is the best solution as they have the knowledge, courses and skills to help you get the most out of the machine. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


UTILITY LOCATION

For more than 30 years, the Dial Before You Dig program has become a trusted go-to service for asset owners and contractors. It protects more than $340 billion of infrastructure, covers more than 740,000km and plays a vital role in preventing utility strikes, which can cause expensive damage, widespread inconvenience and, in some tragic circumstances, injury and death. And now, Dial Before You Dig is entering a new phase, which is set to expand its application across digital platforms to provide an even more extensive service.

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UTILITY LOCATION

New era

FOR AUSTRALIA’S ICONIC DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG PROGRAM

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n 1984, a bulldozer punctured a gas pipeline in Perth, Western Australia. Fortunately, the driver escaped the fiery inferno that ensued, but the accident caused significant damage to the bulldozer, and other equipment and infrastructure around it. This event was the impetus for what has become a world-leading referral service that works to prevent damage and disruption by protecting Australia’s vast underground infrastructure network. It is impossible to quantify just how many accidents the service has prevented. But we do know that each year it receives more than 1.9 million requests for information and issues more than 12 million notifications; meaning a Dial Before You Dig enquiry has become widely regarded as an essential first step for any project that involves excavation.

DELVING INTO THE DIGITAL In 2017, the Dial Before You Dig board instigated a project to ‘future-proof’ the service, and realised the potential for expanding the service using technology. Dial Before You Dig Operations Manager, Graeme Allan, said a roadmap has been developed to guide the process of improving the service, which “hadn’t really evolved much in the past 20 years”. “The roadmap essentially takes the existing service and improves upon

it to develop a digital platform which will deliver upstream and downstream services to help users and asset owners protect their underground assets against strikes,” Mr Allan said. “It’s all about improving and enabling future technologies to enhance the service through a digital transformation with a digital platform.” Large asset owners, as well as other stakeholders are said to have welcomed the move to improve the service and have contributed feedback to the plans.

LOOKING ABROAD FOR EXAMPLES OF BEST-PRACTICE Mr Allan said Australia’s Dial Before You Dig service was widely regarded as a world leader, but was looking overseas for examples of best-practice. “The Dial Before You Dig service in Australia is probably one of the best in the world because it’s a trusted brand, covers the whole of Australia and provides a reliable service,” Mr Allan said. “However, there are services – especially in the Netherlands – where there is a greater level of internet enablement.” Mr Allan said this enabled two-way information flow, which improved the capacity to incorporate feedback from contractors and asset owners about the location and condition of underground assets.

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“The Netherlands service, whilst covering a much smaller and different geography, is regulated by government to use sophisticated applications to identify where the assets are underground and record when they aren’t where the asset owner thinks they are,” Mr Allan said. “Historically, a lot of asset owners have a general idea of where their assets are, but sometimes that’s not accurate, and that’s one of the big challenges we face. “We hope the new system will improve the way we capture feedback from the contractors and excavators who are actually doing the field work.”

IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING The updated service is expected to be rolled out in 2021. The Dial Before You Dig board endorsed the roadmap earlier this year and work is underway to procure the technology. “Through to the middle of next year, we want to be engaging with vendor partners to establish the service and have a period where we prove the service in parallel with the current services operating so when it’s cutting it over in July 2021, it’s proven and ready to go,” Mr Allan said.

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Utility Partner Solutions

ARE YOUR EXCAVATION PRACTICES

LEAVING YOU EXPOSED? Any excavation, irrespective of size, has the potential to damage assets located around the work site. This damage can lead to service interruptions, delays to the project, costly repairs and, in the worst-case scenario, injury or death. By using a non-destructive digging solution, such as a Vermeer vacuum excavator, contractors can greatly reduce these risks and ensure the safety of their workers and the community, while also minimising the possibility of damage to existing utility infrastructure.

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t is important to not only receive the utility plans and/or mud maps of the site from Dial Before You Dig (DBYD), but also validate the location of those utilities if they are in the area of prospective works. By not successfully locating utilities, contractors could be at risk of: • Injuries or fatalities to workers and/or the general public • Loss of company reputation • Financial outlay (direct repair costs, plant and labour downtime costs, project delay costs, investigation costs, property damage costs, third-party disruption costs, insurance costs, fines)

DBYD’s Five Ps – industry best practice to prevent damage: 1. Plan 2. Prepare 3. Pothole 4. Protect 5. Proceed PRE-EXCAVATION POTHOLING A NECESSARY STEP Any plans and information provided by DBYD Certified Locators following a location should indicate ‘Quality Levels’ as defined in AS5488 – 2013. There are four accuracy levels ranging from ‘D’, the lowest, to ‘A’, the highest and most accurate. The default Quality Level for subsurface information is ‘D’. To avoid damaging buried assets when excavating, the subsurface information relating to the location must be to Quality Level ‘A’. Potholing must be carried out prior to excavation to validate the position of existing utilities and meet Quality Level ‘A’ accuracy.

OVERVIEW OF QUALITY LEVELS AS DEFINED IN AS5488 – 2013 Quality Level ‘D’ – information is generally obtained from existing records provided by utilities as a result of a DBYD enquiry being lodged. In many cases, the asset depicted on the plan is in a schematic format only and intended only to indicate its presence. Quality Level ‘C’ – described as a surface feature correlation or an

interpretation of the approximate location and attributes of a subsurface utility asset using a combination of existing records and site survey of visible evidence – for example you can see the pit lids shown on the plan, but the actual position of underground connection between pits is still assumed. Quality Level ‘B’ – provides relative subsurface feature locations in three dimensions. The minimum requirement for QL-B is relative spatial position, this can be achieved via an electromagnetic frequency locating device. An electronic location provided by a DBYD Certified Locator to QL-B standard would have a maximum horizontal tolerance of plus or minus 300mm and a maximum vertical tolerance of plus or minus 500mm. Quality Level ‘A’ – consists of positive identification of the attribute and location of a subsurface utility at a point to an absolute spatial position in three dimensions. It is the only Quality Level that defines a subsurface utility as ‘validated’. Potholing can also reduce the risk of mistakenly identifying an asset or position. Not everything may need to be potholed if a Quality Level ‘B’ location shows the assets outside of the danger zone and are therefore low risk (DBYD plans are Quality Level ‘D’, and an EMF location by a competent locator can achieve Quality Level ‘B’). By locating any possible utilities in the planning stage and utilising the quality levels, contractors can then make more reliable decisions and reduce the risk of damaging utilities or injuring workers. Since vacuum excavators use air or water that can be regulated to excavate at 'non-destructive' pressures, they are perfect for excavating to locate existing underground utilities, and this is one of their most common applications in preparation for utility installation. The relatively low-pressure water and air used in vacuum excavation are much less likely to damage existing utilities compared to a backhoe, compact excavator or shovel. Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) contractors use vacuum excavators

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UTILITY LOCATION

Utility Partner Solutions

to pothole and reveal utilities, often in conjunction with cost-effective electronic location devices like the Vermeer G3 locator, for 100 per cent depth calculation of utilities before drilling. The Vermeer trailer-mounted VX30-250 vacuum excavator is a popular choice for utility installation and potholing, offering Australian municipalities and contractors a lowcost, highly portable system for a range of non-destructive digging tasks.

DBYD’S RECOMMENDED SAFE EXCAVATION PRACTICES 1. Contact DBYD so you can utilise location/service plans/information that conforms to Australian Standard AS5488 2. Ensure ground markings are clear and comply with AS5488 3. Ensure you have permission to pothole from the asset owner 4. Check safe work method statements (SWMS) to determine high-risk or exclusion zones, and any special permissions 5. Engage with a certified locator 6. Only use non-destructive digging methods such as water jetting/ hydro/vacuum excavation or hand tools by a competent and experienced operator. Backhoes and excavators should not be used for potholing. If using hand tools, do not use sharp pointed objects such as picks or crowbars 7. Using a certified locator during potholing can minimise the amount of exploratory potholing and save costs 8. Ensure water pressure, nozzle type, distance from asset and duration of contact all comply with asset owner specifications 9. Always dig adjacent to the asset to expose it from the side, rather than digging down from the top. Where possible, dig parallel to the asset line, rather than across it Visit vermeer.com.au for more information on Vermeer’s range of vacuum excavators and utility locators, and be sure to familiarise yourself with the elements of safe excavation at 1100.com.au.

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Utility Partner Solutions

AT THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF:

PLANNING FOR AUSTRALIA’S AGING INFRASTRUCTURE With so much of Australia’s water and sewerage infrastructure built before the 1970s, many water, wastewater and stormwater assets are reaching the end of their expected 50-year lifecycle – a phenomenon known as the ‘infrastructure cliff’. Risks associated with aging infrastructure are compounded by the pressure caused by Australia’s ever-growing population and the impact of increasingly frequent extreme weather events. This makes it more important than ever for utilities to assess the condition of their assets, and to develop a maintenance and repair program to ensure infrastructure assets can service the community for the future.

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n early 2019, Infrastructure Australia released its Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 – a comprehensive analysis of Australia’s infrastructure. The report identified that addressing Australia’s aging infrastructure is fast becoming an urgent issue and cited pressures such as our growing population; a rise in the number of single-person occupied homes, which is expected to increase by more than 60 per cent by 2036; and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events caused by our changing climate. However, despite these trends, Australia ranks below average for infrastructure investment among other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“The infrastructure boom went for about 30 years, so the infrastructure cliff will span over about 20 years, depending on what part of Australia you’re in. “Many councils don’t have the funds to jump on repairing things; they need to program the work when the funds are available. A lot of councils however are struggling to establish a program of works that will ensure they rehabilitate the correct sewers before their sewers actually collapse or stop working.” Currently, about 196 businesses and local government supply water and wastewater services to Australia’s cities and towns, and a number of smaller operators provide local and specialised services, including to remote communities.

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE According to John Adamo, Far North Queensland Operations and Business Development Manager for Interflow – Australasia’s leading solution provider for water infrastructure works – investing in water asset renewal is more important than ever. “Assets across Australia are fast approaching the ‘infrastructure cliff’ – the end of their 50-year life expectancy,” Mr Adamo said.

GET THE PICTURE Infrastructure Australia’s report warns that not renewing assets when their condition is compromised can lead to significant financial and service costs in the longer term. However, it identified that asset owners are lacking information about the age, condition and capacity of urban water assets to make informed decisions. And what is known is not publicly reported in a consistent manner.

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Mr Adamo said the best way for asset owners to better understand the structural condition and serviceability of their sewer pipes was to carry out an assessment. “Interflow works with its clients to carry out a condition assessment, which is a program to clean and conduct CCTV inspections of the sewer lines using remotely operated cameras,” Mr Adamo said. “In doing that, we come up with a WASA wind cam report which categorises the condition of the sewer lines on a one to five scale, with one being in good condition and five needing urgent and extensive repair. “This enables councils to put together a program of works for the coming years; so this year’s works are based on last year’s assessments, and the condition assessments that get done this year will inform next year’s rehabilitation. “This will give asset owners the information they need to address issues before they become significant faults, while receiving maximum value from existing infrastructure, and delivering reliable services to their customers into the future.” For more information, visit www.interflow.com.au.

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Creating the future of water

through collaborative partnerships

www.interflow.com.au mail@interflow.com.au www.interflow.com.au mail@interflow.com.au

Locations throughout Australia & New Zealand Locations throughout Australia & New Zealand


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ogan City Council used the HDD method to install a segment of pipe over 1.3km from Greenbank to Flagstone – the longest underground drilling project in the city’s history. Under the Queensland Government’s ShapingSEQ: South East Queensland Regional Plan 2012, Logan’s south-west region is identified as a major hub for residential, commercial and industrial development. The region includes the Greater Flagstone Priority Development Area (PDA) and Council needed to provide adequate water and wastewater infrastructure to service the PDA. The pipeline works will connect the Greater Flagstone PDA to the treatment plant at the Cedar Grove Environmental Centre, which was designed to cater for the 162,000 people eventually expected to call the region home.

WHY HDD? Council was committed to minimising environmental harm wherever possible. It is an approach Council has also taken in the construction of its state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility in Cedar Grove and the associated infrastructure. Logan City Council Roads and Water Acting Director, Daryl Ross, said Council had the impact on the environment and the community front of mind when considering options. “Because HDD doesn’t disturb the ground surface there is less environmental impact,” he said. “The area includes Flagstone Creek and Abrade Creek as well as the sensitive habitats of koalas and grey-headed flying foxes. “Avoidance of traditional open trench methods meant one hectare of native vegetation was saved in the process.” Mr Ross said HDD also provided a more economical lifecycle cost than open trench pipeline installation due to the constraints in the selected areas. “This is due to the sewer rising main being able to be built through undulating ground,” he said. “This improves the hydraulics by having less rises and falls, and therefore reduces pumping costs over the life of the asset.” TWO AUSTRALIAN FIRSTS Mr Ross said it was the first time in Australia that Polyethylene (PE) – High Stress Crack Resistant (HSCR) pipe material was used for a wastewater project. The PE-HSCR material provides considerable improvement in material behaviour compared with previous HDPE materials. As there is a resin in the pipe material, it seals up any cracks caused by the dragging of the pipe against the walls of the drill hole. Mr Ross said the expected design life for these pipes is 100 years. “That offers the longest possible lifetime for a wastewater pipe and reduces the risk of issues during the installation process,” he said. The project will also be the first in Australia to use an underground magnetics walkover locating system. The drilled pipe is up to 54m deep, but conventional tracking devices can only monitor the pipe to a depth of 20m. Mr Ross said the magnetics walkover locating system was a contractor-led initiative as it can track the buried pipe up to 110m deep.

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A LOT HAPPENING UNDERGROUND IN LOGAN Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology is leading to significant environmental benefits in the City of Logan, while also resulting in major cost savings for ratepayers. The technology is being used in sections of a 9.6km trunk infrastructure pipeline (up to 700mm in diameter) being built between Greenbank and Flagstone as part of the network that will service the city’s new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant at Cedar Grove.

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A lot happening underground in Logan

BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY Mr Ross said the wastewater pipeline and new pump stations between Greenbank and Flagstone Central will initially service two new residential developments in Greenbank. “This section of infrastructure is part of the future Greater Flagstone wastewater network, which includes 34km of pipelines and 12 new pump stations,” he said. “It will transport wastewater from homes and businesses in Greater Flagstone to the treatment plant at the Cedar Grove Environmental Centre.

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“The Cedar Grove Environmental Centre and its related infrastructure will provide the capacity to manage wastewater flows from growing communities in the region. “During the construction it has also provided employment for local people and local businesses.” The project is due for completion in coming weeks. Construction work on the Cedar Grove Environmental Centre is about 80 per cent complete and the facility is expected to be operational by the middle of this year.

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How much reagent does your analyzer use?

Alyza IQ

ORTHOPHOSPHATE & AMMONIUM ANALYZERS The new Alyza IQ series from WTW adds innovative wet chemistry analyzers to the IQ Sensor Net range of online monitoring instruments for water and wastewater. LOW REAGENT USE

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Less than 1ml per day (PO4) and just over 2ml per day (NH4) in typical low range applications at 10-minute measuring intervals saving you time and money.

Reagent bag design makes replacing reagents easier and safer than ever.

Real-time monitoring of reagent levels helps keep your analyzer in operation.

Routine self calibration ensures accurate measurements.

Xylem Water Solutions Australia info.apac@xyleminc.com +61 1300 995362 www.xylem-analytics.com.au


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Utility Partner Solutions

THE TRIPLEX LINER SYSTEM:

a sustainable solution The team at Environmental Rehabilitation Technologies (ERT) has brought the successful McNeil Technologies’ Triplex Liner System to Australia to provide a sustainable solution to the country’s deteriorating underground infrastructure.

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aving been successfully installed in hundreds of cities throughout the US, Canada and now Australia, the Triplex Liner System is known for its ease of installation, economy and permanence, and is the ultimate solution for pump station, manhole and culvert cured-in-place rehabilitation.

Once the liner is in place, it is promptly inflated via an internal inflation bladder, using both steam and air pressure. The amount of air pressure exerted is in excess of hydrostatic head pressure of infiltration, with the liner bonding to a wet or dry surface. Curing takes place in approximately one hour.

THE SYSTEM The deterioration of sewer structures is generally caused by hydrogen sulfide gas, which turns precast concrete to dust and eats away at the mortar between bricks. The Triplex Liner System is resistant to these chemical reactions, eliminating the risk of further deterioration and infiltration. Designed and engineered to last up to 100 years, almost always in sewage conditions, the Triplex Liner System can be installed in just a few hours and has an industry-leading warranty of 30 years – unconditionally and non-prorated – backed by industry-leading supplier and installer McNeil Technologies Inc. The liners used in the system are composed of two outer layers of fibreglass with a non-porous, impermeable membrane as the middle layer. As a fully structural liner, this multi-layered system of materials provides structural strength to the host structure, which means it does not require the host structure to be supported. The system is also chemical resistant and impermeable from groundwater infiltration – it is actually the only rehab system in the world that can be installed whilst there is still active infiltration. THE PROCESS Every single structure is inspected and exacting measurements are recorded along with thorough field notes. The team at ERT gains a complete understanding of each structure’s needs prior to a liner ever being put into production. A custom liner is then fabricated for each structure. At the jobsite, the structure is high-pressure cleaned and etched (up to approx 5,000psi). Pipes are trimmed/grouted around as needed. Benches at the bottom of the structure are rebuilt as needed and a bridge platform is placed just over the invert channel, allowing for uninterrupted flow during the installation. The liner is then completely saturated inside and out using a signature yellow epoxy resin and lowered into the structure.

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After curing is complete, the inflation bladder is removed, laterals are reopened and the plywood bridge over the invert channel is removed. Liner installation is then complete, with the total time spent on the rehabilitation usually between four and six hours – and no disruption to sewage flows during the installation. ERT’s Triplex Liner installations are proudly supported and installed by a team with over 60 years of combined industry experience. For more information on the Triplex Liner System, call ERT today on 1800 841 555.

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Triplex Liner System, the ultimate solution for pump station, manhole and culvert cured-in-place rehabilitation. • Ingenuity • Innovation • Performance

For more information on the Triplex Liner System, call ERT today.

phone:1800 841 555 email: jeremy@ertaustralia.com.au


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Utility Partner Solutions

ENERGY EFFICIENT

FLOW CONTROL FOR PUMPING There are two types of flow control used in pumping applications: real-time flow control and time-averaged flow control. REAL-TIME VARIABLE FLOW CONTROL APPLICATIONS With this type of application, the flow or pressure constantly adjusts in response to changes in the system. Real-time variable flow control can be achieved using a flow control valve (throttling) or by using a variable speed drive (VSD). VSDs are considered superior because flow control valves are inefficient. Static head (HS) is the height which the liquid is to be pumped. For real-time variable flow systems at low static heads, a VSD typically offers a more efficient method than throttling. But at high static heads, the savings from a VSD are reduced.

TIME-AVERAGED FLOW CONTROL APPLICATIONS Many applications need an average control of the flow, over a long period of time. This is the case when pumping from a holding tank or to a reservoir. In the case of wastewater pumping, the pump starts to empty the tank when it is nearly full. The pump switches off when the tank is empty and repeats the cycle when the tank refills. Cyclic control is ideal for applications requiring time-averaged flow control because it offers energy savings and reduces installation costs. Cyclic control

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switches the motor and pump on and off according to the average demands of the system. Cyclic control uses a fixed-speed controller, such as a soft starter or direct on line (DOL) starter. When the pump is running, it will operate close to its best efficiency point (BEP). When it is not running, the system neither consumes nor wastes any energy.

SYSTEM DESIGN Pump systems are typically designed to ensure a given operational flow (i.e. a guaranteed target maximum operational flow or Qop). The ‘ideal’ pump is one that can operate at its BEP, at the exact operational flow. However, the pump that will actually be selected for the system will usually have a slightly greater flow than the ‘ideal’ pump. For low static head applications, cyclic control could be replaced by realtime flow control. In this configuration, real-time flow control could offer a small improvement in efficiency (five per cent). To achieve any efficiency gains, the flow rate would need to be continually adjusted to the real-time requirements of the application. However, at high and low flow rates, this method of control is less efficient than cyclic control.

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Low flow rates achieved through variable speed control can also create problems with clogging and cavitation.

GOOD PRACTICE – DESIGN PUMP SYSTEMS FOR CYCLIC CONTROL To minimise energy consumption, it is important to design the system carefully and select the appropriate method of control. Except for very low static head applications, it is usually best to design pumping systems for cyclic control. Using soft starters or DOL starters, cyclic control will offer better energy efficiency.

BAD PRACTICE – CYCLIC CONTROL USING A VSD A VSD can be used for cyclic control by switching the motor to either full speed or off. This is not ideal because VSDs have significantly higher losses than fixed-speed controllers, and the installation and running costs of VSDs are much higher than for fixed-speed controllers. VSDs also introduce harmonics to the system, further reducing the overall efficiency and can also affect the electrical network. Only fixed-speed controllers such as soft starters or DOL starters should be used for cyclic control. For more information, visit www.ipd.com.au.

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Soft Starters Fully featured motor control solutions AuCom’s EMX4i now available

Features

in the full range of current ratings

• • • • • •

And now introducing 1000V soft starters to the EMX4i range

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XLR-8 control to prevent water hammer Emergency run mode Real time metering & monitoring Automated pump clean function Extended motor protection functionality Clock & calendar scheduling

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WOMEN IN UTILITIES

Celebrating female leadership

IN THE WATER INDUSTRY new ways of thinking and working, and how we will develop new relationships with communities and partners to do this together.

MAREE LANG MANAGING DIRECTOR (ACTING) TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH, AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? My seven years so far in the water sector have seen me leading strategy, operational and delivery teams, and I love developing teams and solving complex challenges with communities and customers. Before shifting to the water sector, I had leadership roles working on sustainability, innovation and business strategy. I have the privilege to be acting as Managing Director at City West Water, and in this role, I’m combining all my experiences to support our people to deliver great outcomes for customers and communities every day. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WORKING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY? The big challenges for the sector such as climate change, population growth, and customer and community expectations are now better understood than ever, but can also feel bigger than ever. However, I think the most exciting aspect is how we will solve these challenges with entirely

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WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR CAREER? I am motivated by the talented people across our business and the work we do every day. Our sector has a profound impact on peoples’ lives as well as the community, environment and economy. To make the most of this, we need people who are accountable, highly engaged and reflective of our community, and more and more I see the water sector seeking out this new diversity of skills and experience.

IF YOU HAD ADVICE FOR YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Your career won’t happen by itself so take some risks, look for purpose and don’t forget to have loads of fun along the way. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT? We’re just getting started here at City West Water, and I’m excited to be part of a business that is working on the big challenges and opportunities for Melbourne and our rapidly growing western region.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON IN YOUR TIME AT CITY WEST WATER? I’ve been able to work with my teams to deliver some great projects at City West Water – from the Spencer Street Sewer Project and Werribee Recycled Water Plant to Focus3 (our mobile asset management tool). The most rewarding project however is our approach to safety and wellbeing at City West Water. This project is of course ongoing, and we are aiming to be a business where everyone lives and breathes safety and wellbeing. WHICH FEMALE LEADERS DO YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION? I can look across City West Water for inspiration, from an amazing bunch of women on our executive, through to all the women in our business who are having a go at new opportunities like starting a new project to improve our business, going on a secondment or taking on a leadership role.

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ELISA HUNTER GENERAL MANAGER, STRATEGY & PLANNING (ACTING) TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH, AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? I’m an environmental engineer and have worked across all aspects of the project lifecycle in both the private and public sector. The common denominator in all my roles has been the water industry and providing long-term water solutions. I have also always been in leadership roles since relatively early in

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City West Water provides water, sewerage, trade waste and recycled water services to more than one million residents and 40,000 businesses in Melbourne’s central business district, and inner and western suburbs. The utility is proud to have achieved over 50 per cent female representation on its executive leadership team, in a sector where women tend to be underrepresented or clustered in admin roles. Here, we meet the women in charge at the water corporation leading the way in gender diversity – four of which have been recognised in the Top 50 Women in Public Sector Awards. my career, and developing and leading high-performing teams is a real passion. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WORKING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY? The biggest challenge for the industry is the ability to adapt and change to the extremely volatile external environment whilst maintaining great service to our customers. Being able to innovate and shift as technology advances will be critical to success. WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR CAREER? I love working in an industry with the ability to learn and adapt. I am motivated by the changing nature of our external environment and how we set ourselves up to respond to this to ensure we can provide the best outcomes for our customers and community.

are also some incredible women across the water sector whom I find extremely inspiring across all levels. IF YOU HAD ADVICE FOR YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Take whatever opportunity comes your way, have a go and don’t be too hard on yourself! WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT? For me, it is all about constant reflection to ensure I am continually growing both professionally and personally. Within City West Water, the opportunity to evolve the way we work to enable us to harness the power of data to drive our decision-making and continually innovate to ensure we can provide the best outcomes for our customers.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON IN YOUR TIME AT CITY WEST WATER? I’ve worked on a number of great projects in my time at City West Water, but a standout was leading the Urban Water Strategy development across the metropolitan water industry. This involved collaboration across four businesses, as well as working closely with community and customers to set out a 50-year strategy for our water supply. WHICH FEMALE LEADERS DO YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION? I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by a number of amazing female leaders at City West Water, and I am inspired by them every day. There

AMANDA SMITH GENERAL MANAGER, INFRASTRUCTURE & DELIVERY

I can influence positive community outcomes. I have worked my whole professional life so far in the public sector in lots of different roles and love working alongside people that are dedicated to community good. I moved to City West Water 12 years ago to take on my first executive leadership role leading an operational team. It was in this role that I really discovered my passion for leadership and putting the customer at the heart of our work. In my current role, I have the great privilege of leading the team that delivers and maintains our essential water, recycled water and sewerage services to over a million customers every day. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WORKING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY? The need to continue to improve our services to customers and the community in a drying climate whilst servicing our growing population. This presents us with challenges – it means we need to be continually seeking to understand what our customers want and expect from us, and matching our services to these expectations. We also need to be innovative in how we service our customers. Many of the challenges we now face are not easily solved by technical solutions alone so innovation, collaboration and partnerships are key and this challenges the way we might have traditionally worked.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH, AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? My background is environmental engineering and I have always been drawn to roles and organisations where

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WOMEN IN UTILITIES WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR CAREER? Working alongside people who want to make a difference in the community and creating workplaces where people can do their best work. WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON IN YOUR TIME AT CITY WEST WATER? I am really interested in innovation in the way we service customers and understanding how new technology can help make the lives of our customers and our employees more satisfying. Playing a role in developing our data and analytics capabilities has been really exciting and has led to improvements in the way we service customers. We started with a proof of concept for a data platform focused on identifying water pipes for renewal to improve reliability for customers. This led to significant efficiencies in our processes and ultimately led to the development of a business-wide uplift in data and analytics. We are still on this journey, but we now have a number of dashboards and machine learning examples across the business that are helping us to service our customers better every day. WHICH FEMALE LEADERS DO YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION? I am really inspired by female leaders that are courageous, speak their minds and demonstrate authenticity. I don’t have to look much further than the many great female leaders at City West Water and across the water sector for inspiration. IF YOU HAD ADVICE FOR YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Follow your passion and don’t be afraid to fail. You learn so much about yourself when you persevere through the tough times. I think it’s really important to create space for failure and reflection – if you’re not failing you’re probably not taking enough risks.

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WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT? I want to continue to drive innovation as a way of doing business both in terms of how we work with and partner with others, and in the adoption of new technologies that help us do things more safely, more efficiently and more aligned to customer needs.

We continuously look at how we design work, and attract and retain talent, but we need a paradigm shift in thinking from across the whole sector to make this happen. Ultimately, it’s our goal to build rewarding employee experiences as we move towards a multigenerational, multi-career workforce for roles which, as yet, might not even exist. WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR CAREER? I love working in a dynamic, changing environment, and the water sector constantly provides me with different experiences and new learning opportunities. What motivates me even more is my desire to become a role model for my children and women who have leadership aspirations.

LOUISE MEADOWS GENERAL MANAGER, PEOPLE & CAPABILITY TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH, AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? My journey into human resources began when I was offered a consultant position in Scotland’s electricity sector. This gave me invaluable experience, and within three years I was offered a managerial role with a telco/internet company before landing a job in banking where I worked across three United Kingdom offices. This led to a two-year assignment working for the National Australia Bank in Melbourne. Leaving the banking industry, I started with Melbourne Water before being appointed to my current role – and my dream job! WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WORKING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY? The move into the digital age does present challenges. Finding the right people to work in an ever-changing environment is difficult, but it’s also an exciting challenge.

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WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON IN YOUR TIME AT CITY WEST WATER? In collaboration with my colleagues, I led a cultural transformational program aimed at changing the mindset of our employees. At the heart of it was a simple message – everyone can be a leader and we all can be masters of our own destiny. This mantra has been embraced and the feedback received shows it has benefitted our employees not only in the workplace, but in everyday life. WHICH FEMALE LEADERS DO YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION? I’m fortunate enough to work in a leadership team with amazing women who inspire, motivate and support me every day. I also value the wisdom passed on and lifelong friendships I have made from the incredible mentors and coaches who have worked with me and for me throughout my career. IF YOU HAD ADVICE FOR YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? There was a time when I felt intimidated by anyone senior to me or in authority. As a result, I held back. I lost my voice and, despite desperately

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wanting to, didn’t ask questions or put forward my point of view. I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t worthy or capable of making a contribution. My advice to my 18-year-old self would be to believe in yourself, don’t be afraid to speak up because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Remember no one has all the answers. Today, when I’m in a meeting or even in the same room as junior staffers, I think back to my early days and the struggles I had and do my best to encourage their voices. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT? I am enjoying my time at City West Water as I am continuously learning and growing in my role here. I know as I enter my next decade I want a role where I get to do what I love, make a significant contribution to whatever organisation I am in and work with committed and passionate people. If these conditions are met, then I can go anywhere and do anything.

and government. This exposure has given me invaluable experience in technology, business operations and human resources with an emphasis on creating value through processes and systems.

We embarked on an agile journey in October 2018 with the development of our outage map. Fast forward 12 months to October 2019, it is fully embraced as a way of working across IT and other parts of City West Water.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF WORKING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY?

WHICH FEMALE LEADERS DO YOU LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION? I’m blessed to work here at City West Water and need look no further than my female executive colleagues for inspiration. I have been lucky enough to work with a number of remarkable female leaders throughout my career, many of whom I’m still in touch with. Each has contributed to my success in some way and more importantly has shown me that I can have it all – a good education, a successful career, a family and a social life. I have always admired Julie Bishop, she is an articulate, passionate and committed woman. I especially admire that she hasn’t had to compromise her femininity to operate in industries that were traditionally male dominated.

I only joined the water industry one and a half years ago, so gaining a good understanding of interrelated functions in areas such as trade waste, as well as the intricacies of how Melbourne’s water is supplied through the network, has taken me some time. We are becoming more and more reliant on technology in everything we do, and the water industry is no different. With the use of technology, we have access to more data and we are able to use this data to gain insight and make evidence-based decisions. For example, when to replace an asset or what our customers are thinking about us based on social media sentiment. WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR CAREER? I love to learn, particularly about new industries. The knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout my career has enabled me to utilise and take advantage of best practices from my previous roles. I get a real buzz when I introduce new and improved technologies or find simple IT solutions – they’re equally rewarding.

JENNIFER REBEIRO CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON IN YOUR TIME AT CITY WEST WATER?

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH, AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE?

All our initiatives are gratifying, but one that stands out was a project transition where I introduced a new approach to the way we work within the organisation. I was thrilled when the recommended changes were not only embraced but implemented.

My career has been an interesting journey, taking me across a wide range of industries, including banking and finance, airlines, telecommunications

UTILITY • FEBRUARY 2020

IF YOU HAD ADVICE FOR YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Study hard, ease back on your social life and don’t worry too much about the future. If you have the right attitude, success will come your way. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT? I would like City West Water to be known for delivering customer-centric digital services in a seamless way. To achieve this, we need to utilise data and analytics, and digitised and automated processes to enhance our services for the community. I’m excited to be part of leading this change.

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MICROTUNNELLING

How do flexibility and innovation on job sites reduce risk?

M

icrotunnelling is still a relatively new trenchless technology, and as such it continues to evolve as methods and practices are improved, allowing pipelines to be installed quicker and with less risk to keep projects on time and in budget. However, in order for this to happen, contractors and subcontractors need to be open to taking a flexible approach on projects, especially when challenging conditions mean that the traditional way of doing things may not produce the best outcome. Developed in Japan in the 1970s, microtunnelling is still a relatively new technology that is still evolving as machinery and techniques continue to be improved. This means it is still new enough for engineers to be wary of it – especially if they have never used it before – but also old enough for current practices and procedures to be established. The industry is still in its infancy – even though it’s been around for almost 50 years – because when it was first developed, the methodology wasn’t consistent and only got it right some of the time. But it’s evolved a lot since then, and little by little the methodology has been improved to the capabilities of some of the best microtunnelling machines on the market today which can consistently achieve accuracies of ±10mm. The exciting thing is that the industry is still evolving and the growth over the next ten years has the potential to be huge.

AN EVOLVING INDUSTRY However, the evolution of the industry in coming years will rely on a host of different factors and not just equipment improving. The continuing evolution of the industry is not just about the equipment, it’s not just work practices, it’s about products and design as well. It’s about pulling it all together to make a package that is truly competitive, and a true alternative to open cut. Before even starting a job, a microtunnelling contractor needs to help companies eliminate risk. At the end of the day, when you get risk wrong, that’s when budgets get destroyed. So whenever you can find a situation where you can reduce risk, you get a more accurate way of knowing what the final cost will be. That is a critical part of our industry moving forward; whenever we get the opportunity to create a methodology that reduces risk, we can create outcomes that everyone’s looking for.

A PART OF THE PUZZLE However, it is not always easy to do this, as engineers and contractors can be wary of microtunnelling if they are unfamiliar with it, and finding ways to improve and reduce risk requires everyone to be open to a flexible approach to getting the job done. Microtunnelling contractors are a piece of a puzzle on a job site, offering a very specialised service to deliver a pipeline from A to B accurately in a very wide range of ground conditions. As a company, Edge Underground will take on even the hardest jobs that no other microtunnelling contractor is willing to touch, and in doing this it will look for the best and most economic way of completing the project in the provided time frame and budget. Sometimes this means finding an unconventional way of doing things, especially when there are challenging conditions, but everyone needs to be open to giving it a go. AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR A CHALLENGING PROJECT To better understand the benefits of a flexible approach, let’s look at an example of how it can be used to complete projects in difficult conditions and time frames that other subcontractors may not want to risk. In one instance, Edge Underground completed a 300m PVC sewer pipeline installation in Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner west, which had to be completed in a tight access area near existing infrastructure, but also needed to be completed in a short time frame. There was such as tight schedule to complete the project that it would’ve been difficult to put shoring into place without going taking longer than specified. When this happens, working with a flexible contractor that is open to new ideas is a great benefit to finding a solution to get the job done. Edge Underground worked on this project with Eden Drainage, and by working together they were able to come up with a solution; Edge Underground essentially shotcreted the tight access shafts, allowing it to complete the job in the specified time. By coming up with a flexible and innovative approach to the job, rather than going with a preconceived idea, Eden Drainage gave Edge Underground full scope to achieve a fantastic outcome.

ABOUT STUART HARRISON Global microtunnelling pioneer Stuart Harrison is the Managing Director of Edge Underground, where he specialises in on­-grade microtunnelling installations with millimetre accuracy. Stuart is also the inventor of the Vermeer AXIS Guided Boring system, and he is constantly working to improve the effectiveness of this and other trenchless systems used in the installation of gravity sewers. To discuss your next microtunnelling installation, contact Stuart on

1300 JACKED or at stuart@edgeunderground.co

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