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Issue #22, May 2019

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

INDUSTRY 4.0:

THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION

STORAGE SUPERCHARGES AUSTRALIA’S UPTAKE OF RENEWABLES

SAFEGUARDING OUR

WATER SUPPLY WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS


Issue #22, May 2019

www.utilitymagazine.com.au

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

welcome

Issue #22, May 2019

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

UTILITY MAGAZINE

INDUSTRY 4.0: INDUSTRY 4.0: THETECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY THE TRANSFORMATION TRANSFORMATION

STORAGE

SUPERCHARGES

AUSTRALIA’S

STORAGE STORAGE SUPERCHARGES AUSTRALIA’S UPTAKE AUSTRALIA’S UPTAKE OF OF RENEWABLES MAY 2019

urable Peak/

SAFEGUARDING OUR

WATER SUPPLY WATER

Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Overseas model shown.

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS

UPTAKE OF

RENEWABLES

SAFEGUARDING

OUR WATER SUPPLY

INDUSTRY 4.0: THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS

25/3/19 10:32 am

Cover A image highlights our feature on water management.

Cover B image highlights our feature on energy storage.

8,138 This publication has been independently audited under the AMAA’s CAB Total Distribution Audit. Audit Period: 1 April – 30 September 2018

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 Lauren 'LJ' Butler Journalist Siobhan Day Senior Designer Alejandro Molano Designers Jacqueline Buckmaster Danielle Harris Business Development Manager Rima Munafo Publisher Chris Bland Managing Editor Laura Harvey Operations Manager Kirsty Hutton Digital Marketing Manager Sam Penny

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May 2019

ISSUE 22

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ND TING

FROM THE EDITOR

ustralia has just sweltered through its hottest summer on record, and prolonged drought conditions continue across the country, with the eastern states most affected. According to climatologists at the Bureau of Meteorology, summers like this are only going to become more common. Low levels of rainfall, along with increasing demand as a result of population growth, will have significant implications for our water storages. During the 2018/19 summer, South East Queensland’s bulk water authority, Seqwater, saw water use reach its highest levels since the Millennium Drought. It has developed a Water Future Program to increase community understanding of the water cycle — how water is sourced, stored, treated and supplied — and encourage people to see it as a precious resource all year round. Community education is vital for improving water efficiency, but it is only one aspect of ensuring long-term water security. As we discovered in our interview with Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre, alternative water sources and decentralised business models are key components of integrated water management, an approach that could solve the water security challenge. The extreme weather events of the 2018/19 summer also impacted the energy sector, with bushfires, floods and cyclones all wreaking havoc on the nation’s networks. This did not stop 2018 being a remarkable year for the clean energy industry however, with clean energy contributing 21.3 per cent of Australia's total electricity generation. In an energy system increasingly powered by renewables, flexible capacity technologies, together with demand response, will be key to providing secure and reliable electricity. Large-scale energy storage, including utility-scale battery storage and pumped hydro energy storage, are two examples of flexible technologies helping to balance the grid, and in this issue we take a look at the main storage projects and strategies being undertaken in each state. Technology transformation is also essential in building the grid of the future. The University of Western Australia (UWA) is one of six universities to be selected

for a national program, Industry 4.0 Testlab, that will work with industry to develop new technologies as part of the fourth industrial revolution (known as Industry 4.0). The Industry 4.0 Testlabs will showcase technologies such as advanced automation and robotics, machine-to-machine communication and sensor technology. One of the themes of our recent event, Digital Utilities 2019, was emerging technologies. Utility hosted over 200 delegates from Australia’s major water and energy utilities and there were some fascinating discussions about how we can use digital technologies to optimise asset management, improve network operations and keep up with changing customer demands. My key takeaway from the conference was less about technology and more about people however; innovation comes from investing in people and creating the right culture. The event was a huge success and I am already thinking of ways to make 2020 the best yet! As soon as one event ends, another begins, and we’re excited to launch the inaugural Smart Cities conference, which is taking place from 30–31 May in Melbourne. It is a two-day event that brings together the pillars of our cities – representatives from the buildings, roads, transport and utility industries – to educate you on the latest developments that are making our cities smarter, and provide opportunities for collaboration to maximise the interoperability of new technologies across different industries. Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure is also returning for its third year, and is the place to be for updates on technologies, projects and processes that help to better manage critical assets in Australia, from water pipes and energy networks to railways. The event will be held from 21-22 August and you can join our pre-sale at assetmanagementevent. com.au. I hope to see you at one of these events and as always, I am keen to hear your thoughts and feedback on Utility, so feel free to drop me a line at charlotte. pordage@monkeymedia.net.au. Charlotte Pordage Editor

UTILITY • MAY 2019

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CONTENTS

36

WATER MANAGEMENT Water management of the highest order..................... 28

46

WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT The challenges of century-old sewer renewal.............................. 44

In January 2019, Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Director of The University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia. This award recognises his significant service to science through urban water management, and to higher education. Utility Editor, Charlotte Pordage, caught up with him to learn more about one of Australia’s most esteemed engineers.

Filtec and Practical Filtration Solutions: making water safer – together ........................... 31

Building a smart wastewater network.................... 46 Swift and smart sewer system renovation....................... 50 When to select a centre-flow or through-flow band screen........... 52 IRRIGATION The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report: key findings, recommendations and responses.............................. 54

58

ENERGY NETWORKS May the fourth (industrial revolution) be with you............... 58 Going underground: Relocating circuits under Melbourne’s busiest road.................................. 62 Creating new, connected consumer experiences in the Australian energy sector............................... 64 Connecting the dots on customer experience................... 66

Enhanced stormwater monitoring.................................... 32 Australian steel facilitates construction of W2BH pipeline..... 34

96 72

Managing water demand in South East Queensland........... 36 Expanding capabilities for HDPE pipe............................... 40

94 72

Hunter Water to implement proven energy solution............... 42 Pumping pools into pristine condition....................................... 43

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UTILITY LOCATION The advance of utility locator technology....................... 94

UTILITY • MAY 2019

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT Working to improve vegetation clearance outcomes near powerlines ................................... 96 Weeding out glyphosate in vegetation management....... 101

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68

76

ISSUE 17

May 2019

84

i DEMAND MANAGEMENT Exploring non-network solutions to manage electricity demand......... 68

SMART METERS Digital data pays off for Energy Savvy Families ............... 76

MOBILITY Making real-time asset management a reality................. 80

ENERGY STORAGE The top energy storage initiatives Down Under................................. 72

Taggle's proven smart water networks are rolling out across the country................................... 78

The ICurve.................................... 82 Driving the digital workforce...... 84 Optimising your IT investment... 86 INSPECTION Modernising GIS for a fully connected network.............. 88

102 The utility industry is regularly required to call on an enormous and varied range of specialists; from mapping, to drilling, to wastewater treatment, to asset management, to pipe relining, to pipeline integrity, to land access, to risk management, and the list goes on. To make the process a little easier, Utility is bringing together experts from various fields to answer your questions.

Rise of the machines: drone inspections take off........... 90 Safely storing Melbourne’s most valuable resource............... 92

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 UTILITY • MAY 2019

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A WORD FROM ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA ANDREW DILLON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA

W

ith six solar panels installed on Australian homes every minute and household solar policies the focus of political debates, there is an increasingly urgent need for consistent connection guidelines. That is why Energy Networks Australia has developed the first set of guidelines for safe, consistent and efficient installations of solar, storage and battery devices to the grid.

THE ISSUE Household photo-voltaic solar systems and other distributed energy resources (DER) offer customers greater choice and control over their energy use. Their uptake is strongly supported by energy networks, but they can present significant challenges that impact the performance of the electricity grid. Because of this, customers need to obtain approval from their electricity distributor to connect their systems. A network connection agreement must be lodged and approved by the electricity distributor before systems can be installed. This agreement sets out the terms and conditions of grid connection, including the size and type of the system and technical requirements that must be met. To date, distribution network providers have developed their own connection processes to ensure the delivery of safe and reliable electricity to customers. These have been influenced by their own unique mix of customers, geographic conditions and business models, all operating under a sophisticated set of rules, regulations and performance criteria. The result is a diverse landscape with a range of technical requirements and connection processes. While these connection processes are consistent with the National Electricity Rules, inconsistencies between networks, combined with complicated processes and a perceived lack of transparency, have led to frustration for the entire supply chain and its customers, with connection delays and extra costs. THE SOLUTION To address these issues, Energy Networks Australia, supported by all the electricity distribution networks across Australia, started a project in early 2018 to standardise the connection of DER into the grid.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

Every customer’s needs are different and the generation potential of solar power differs from place to place, so solar and battery systems will differ. What doesn’t change, however, is the need for maximum efficiency, lowest cost and steady electricity supply, which is what the guidelines will support. The project developed a suite of national guidelines to facilitate safe, consistent and efficient grid connections, mitigate potential risks and help reduce costs to networks and customers. The guidelines streamline the technical requirements for the network connection of a range of generation technologies and will be used by network companies as a template to develop their own.

THE TECHNICAL GUIDELINES The first two technical guidelines, Technical Guidelines for Basic Micro EG Connections and Technical Guidelines for Low Voltage EG Connections, were released in March 2019. These address low voltage connections for household, commercial and industrial premises. They articulate the structure, definitions and technical settings distribution networks should adopt in the development and application of their technical requirements for grid connection of DER. They also outline the relevant rules, regulations, standards and codes, along with testing, commissioning, operations and maintenance requirements. While compliance with these guidelines is not mandatory, all the relevant networks have committed to adopting the requirements and agreed to participate in annual compliance reviews, including independent assessments. Work is underway to produce the next set of guidelines to address medium and high voltage connections within the distribution system. These guidelines are expected to be released later this year. Australia’s embrace of global energy transformation is world-leading when it comes to the adoption of household solar and storage. Customers like being in control of their energy, however the speed of this change has taken everyone by surprise. The energy network sector is working hard to ensure Australia’s grid and any associated outdated processes are modernised to enable this revolution.

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integrity

{in•teg•ri•ty}

noun. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does. synonyms: strength, honour, cohesion, undividedness

collaboration

{col•lab•o•ra•tion}

noun. The action of two or more people or organisations working towards a common goal. A focused effort to accomplish a task or project together. synonyms: cooperation, partnership, participation

innovation

{in•no•va•tion}

noun. The introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something that can create value and/or gain a competitive advantage. synonyms: change, revolution, break with tradition

Comdain delivers quality engineering and asset management services to Australia's leading utilities and energy providers — and it has been that way for over 50 years. We approach everything we do with integrity and an unwavering commitment to collaboration and innovation. INTEGRITY

COLLABORATION

INNOVATION

comdaininfrastructure.com.au


A WORD FROM WSAA This issue, WSAA would like to highlight its Young Utility Leaders program, with Adam Lovell, Executive Director at WSAA, commenting, “I’m really proud of WSAA’s Young Utility Leaders personal development program. Now in its second year, we have engaged with young leaders in our membership and provided them with development opportunities. Two of the young leaders, Anna Reeves from Coliban Water and Morgan Pauly from Sydney Water, attended recent WSAA events and sought advice on leadership from the speakers they heard. Here’s what they learnt.”

W

e have had the privilege of listening and learning from leaders at the very top of our industry. In February, we witnessed a fireside chat with Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of Severn Trent Water in the UK. Liv energetically and expertly navigated topics on everything from the challenges for low socio-economic customers, to leak management through to customer expectations. We asked Liv what qualities she looks for in a future leader?

“Self awareness is the most important quality as it allows you to develop faster. Will over skill – the right attitude, the right work ethic and the right enthusiasm. Curiosity – only through truly understanding new things can you develop and the most curious of minds tend to understand more,” she said. We also heard from a range of speakers at the WSAA Members Meeting, which covered the challenges impacting our communities in the near and distant future. But as we know, with challenge comes opportunity if you look in the right places. “The key challenge is figuring out how to source water to sustain future growth. Water utilities can’t walk past this challenge given the effects of climate change,” Amanda Jones, COO and Deputy CEO, Infrastructure NSW, said. Sarah Hill, CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission, also detailed the vision to shape metropolitan planning through regional and district plans in greater Sydney. One of the key themes woven through the vision is water.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

“Water is fundamental to Greater Sydney’s resilience and sustainability, so there are tremendous opportunities for young leaders in the water sector to play a crucial role in Greater Sydney’s future,” Sarah Hill said. If we start with water, preserve the green spaces, overlay the infrastructure and introduce integrated landscape and urban design, we have a blank canvas to shape a livable, productive and sustainable community. The changing approach to planning means the role of the modern water utility is also changing. Delivering this vision means place-based outcomes will be key, delivered through collaboration across government departments, agencies and organisations. This means a shift in mindset. Water has often been an afterthought in the planning process, but if we want to create truly water sensitive cities that are resilient and liveable, water must be an integral part of the planning process – right from the start! So with these big picture challenges ahead of us, what is the role of Young Utility Leaders in the urban water industry? “Put your hand up and get involved! At a personal level, I encourage you to be proactive in finding solutions, not just citing the problems or being deterred at barriers to progress,” Sarah said. “Success doesn’t come to those who are the brightest, but comes to those who are most resilient, lead teams better than others and create their own luck through hard work,” Liv said. “Be kind – it costs nothing, and you never know where or when you might meet that person again,” Amanda said. Finally, we reached out to Kevin Young, Managing Director at Sydney Water. Kevin said, “The future is all about leadership and doing water differently and better. “Have courage and say yes a lot, even if you are not sure if you have the skills and experience. Build your security and confidence through your performance. Put yourself to the test, and take on challenging and difficult jobs. Success breeds success — even if you fail at something reflect on what you have learned and this will also breed future success. As Michael Jordan famously said, ‘You miss every basket you decide not to take a shot at!’”

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Make substations smarter with IEC 61850

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Madison Technologies Understands IEC 61850 Whether you’re looking to retrofit an existing substation, or build a new one from the ground up, the advantages of implementing the IEC 61850 standard are the same; simplified architecture, greater reliability, future-proof design and vendor Independence. Our team understand critical power applications, and can work with you to find the best solutions from the comprehensive Moxa range. Contact us on 1800 72 79 79 or email moxa@madisontech.com.au


NEWS

NEW MACHINE LEARNING TOOL TO PREDICT SEWAGE OVERFLOWS

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new piece of software will use machine learning to predict sewage overflows, and potentially avoid overflows entirely. Unitywater and GHD have developed the sewer overflow prediction tool. Unitywater Manager, Asset Knowledge and Performance, Ivan Beirne, said the tool was a win for the environment and the utility. “While this tool is still in the testing phase, it has demonstrated the ability to accurately predict wet weather impacts faster than previous hydraulic models used to predict sewage overflows. “Sewage overflows are priority one jobs, which must be responded to within one hour and can pull our field crews away from other planned work. If we can predict sewage overflows and manage our network accordingly, we can avoid diverting crews to these jobs and this is really beneficial for us,”

he said. Mr Beirne said the tool used radar precipitation echo images, and harnessed the relationship between rainfall patterns over time with sewer overflow events. He said it consisted of two machine learning components, a radar echo ‘nowcasting’ model and a sewer overflow prediction model. The ‘nowcasting’ model produces short term (0-6 hour) rainfall radar image forecasts using the previous two hours of rainfall obtained from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the overflow model then predicts the likelihood of a sewage pump station overflow. “Once used operationally, the model will feed live rainfall radar data from BOM to produce overflow risk scores,” Mr Beirne said. “We can then determine those pump stations most at risk and take

preventative action.” GHD Digital Solutions Lead (Water and Innovation) and Director Digital Labs, Saskya Hunter, said, “Working on this project with Unitywater has been extremely valuable, both in terms of the digital nature of the solution that has been developed and the opportunity to explore new ways of working through AquaLAB — our co-creation program for the water industry. “We are excited by the promise that the prediction tool shows, and the broader benefits that it may provide to the environment and the water industry. “GHD Digital is working hard to make co-creation a reality through our AquaLAB initiative, and we are pleased that Unitywater has been prepared to come on the journey with us for our pilot project,” she said. The project was a finalist in the 2019 Digital Utility Awards.

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NEWS

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST THERMAL WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY UNDERWAY

C

onstruction has commenced on Australia’s first thermal wasteto-energy facility, which is expected to reduce landfill by 400,000 tonnes of waste. The facility, named Avertas Energy, will contribute to landfill reduction by diverting waste from landfill, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars off Perth’s roads. In addition, Avertas Energy will generate and export 36MW of green electricity to the local grid per year, sufficient to power more than 50,000 households. Scheduled to open in 2021, Avertas Energy already has 20-year waste supply agreements in place with Rivers Regional Council and the City of Kwinana, playing a role in supporting those local governments’ waste management strategies. As

the preferred supplier of baseload renewable energy, Avertas Energy will also be supporting the green energy needs of the Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) and its members. Although new to Australia, thermal waste-to-energy has a long track record internationally. Avertas Energy is implementing moving grate technology, which is used in approximately 2000 facilities globally. In other countries, waste-to-energy is part of an overall solution for reducing landfill in conjunction with avoiding waste production, recycling and reuse. Waste managed by Avertas Energy will result in recovery of metallic materials that will be recycled and by-products that will be reused as construction materials. More than 800 jobs will be created over the course of the construction

period and more than 60 new full-time positions once the facility is operating. Acciona, which has been appointed to build the facility, has begun engaging with local sub-contractors about opportunities during construction. Postconstruction, Veolia ANZ will operate and maintain the facility for 25 years. Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said, “Western Australia is at the forefront of new technologies for the management of waste and the reliable generation of new sources of energy. “Pressure on landfill is a concern for communities around the world and Western Australia is taking a leadership position in Australia by embracing new methods and technologies that can sit alongside other strategies for managing waste over the long term.”

Lattice Towers Steel Monopoles PLS-CADD powerline profiling Design and install foundations Conductor and OPGW stringing Underground cable installation Fibre optic cable installation Transformer compounds Testing and commissioning

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PIT INNOVATION FOR WATER AND ENERGY SOLUTIONS

NEWS

Utility Partner Solutions

Working in water and energy requires structurally robust and easy to install pits to ensure each project’s success. Delivery of the Nambucca Shire Council and NSW CBD Electrical Services Relocation Projects saw the installation of the STAKKAbox ULTIMA, Australia's first high-strength modular access pit system.

N

ambucca Shire Council required flow meter installation on two existing trunk mains to monitor water flow to the Shire water distribution system and leakage in the trunk mains. The need to turn off water supply or physically cut piping during the installation process was eliminated due to the robust strength, installation and customisation capabilities offered by the innovative STAKKAbox ULTIMA Connect pit system. Traditional methods risked compromising the integrity of the existing AC pipes’ integrity. STAKKAbox access pits were rapidly assembled around existing pipes without requiring third party contractors or additional plant hire. Clean entry and exit points for piping were created as the ULTIMA pits were assembled using standard cutting tools and a rubber mallet. A key priority was ensuring the protection of the new Ultrasonic Flow Metre equipment being installed on the pipeline so that its electronic components weren’t directly exposed to the possibility of moisture damage. Design specifications required a minimum Class B pit load capacity, yet the ULTIMA’s impressive Class D strength properties offered increased security and prolonged life-span benefits for the asset’s electrical components and the overall system.

FAST AND EASY TO INSTALL Providing substantial cost reductions.

Another stellar example of the STAKKAbox ULTIMA system’s installation flexibility and timeliness was the relocation of vital electrical services located along Pitt Street in Sydney’s Central Business District. The STAKKAbox ULTIMA Hybrid provided a customised underground network access solution that accommodated existing services without specialist resources. The heavily congested business district location of the site meant that elimination of any possible public safety risks underpinned all aspects of the installation. The lightweight, modular structure of the STAKKAbox allowed rapid simultaneous installation of both jointing bays, thereby minimising risks and enabling any adaptations required to support existing services to be easily made on site during assembly. Both the aforementioned water and energy projects were installed within hours without the requirement of specialist builders or tooling, reducing associated health and safety risks while also providing impressive savings to both the asset owners and major contractors. By reducing freight costs and labour expenses, and exceeding safety standards, the STAKKAbox ULTIMA system is a key solution for a range of utility industry needs.

FLEXIBILITY IN CONSTRUCTION Variable wall section lengths enable pit customisation. ULTIMA pit systems can be built over existing infrastructure. Duct entries can be formed on site with standard hand/power tools. ROBUST STRENGTH CAPABILITIES Achieves Class D load capacity without requiring specialist bracing, backfilling or concrete surrounds.

SMOOTH OUTER WALLS WITH LIP TO ‘KEY IN’ ULTIMA beams ensure all pieces are flush and no movement occurs once assembled.

FLAT PACK ARRANGEMENT Reduces freight costs and allows for delivery and installation flexibility. SECTIONAL AND TWIN WALL DESIGN Lightweight sections can be manually lifted. A vertically strong product that can be built to variable depth requirements.

VARIABILITY IN SIZE With a large number and variety of standard sections, ULTIMA allows for construction of virtually any pit size.

Ph: 1800 065 356 UTILITY • MAY 2019

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NEWS

NEW VIRTUAL POWER PLANT FOR NSW

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usgrid and distributed energy leader, Reposit Power, have launched a 1MW virtual power plant (VPP) for 233 customers across Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region. Customers who choose to participate in the trial, which allows electricity from their batteries to be directed back into the grid, will receive direct cash payments from Ausgrid, through Reposit Power, of up to $135 per year, depending on the size of their battery system. When Ausgrid activates signals to customers’ batteries via the customer’s Reposit software, their stored energy is exported to the grid. Reposit then pays customers for the energy they supply, lowering their energy costs. Ausgrid CEO, Richard Gross, said the trial is being delivered by Ausgrid’s Power2U initiative, which is part of a broader $7 million demand management innovation program. He said it is one way Ausgrid is engaging with partners and customers to shape the future of energy, by working smarter with the customers’ existing renewable energy investments. “This is the first program of its type for Ausgrid. Solutions like a virtual power plant not only help customers, it helps the grid. If the trial is successful, it could provide a lower cost alternative to grid investment, which would result in lower customer bills in the long term,” Mr Gross said. “The partnership with Reposit Power will give our customers a choice about the way they share their excess

electricity and gives them a better return on their investment. “We will continue to explore alternative ways to deliver more flexible grid services to our customers to reduce their electricity costs and the costs on our network.” Reposit Power co-founder and CEO, Dean Spaccavento, said that the future of energy is happening now, and Australia is leading the charge. “Reposit Power is proud to partner with progressive energy companies like Ausgrid and share their passion for empowering consumers and communities,” Mr Spaccavento said. “Reposit was recently awarded the highest engineering award for building a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). VPPs are the next step in Australia’s energy revolution. “We are confident that this trial will demonstrate the value of our clean, flexible and cost effective VPPs to individual households and the wider community.” The partnership with Reposit is the first stage of Ausgrid’s VPP program. To enable greater customer choice and expand the VPP, Ausgrid will invite participation from other demand response market providers later this year. Customers can also register their interest with Ausgrid to receive updates on the progress of VPP. For more on Ausgrid’s Power2U program, visit https://www.ausgrid.com.au/vpp.

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Innovation reduces your Arc Flash incident levels To help reduce the effects of a low voltage switchboard arc flash, NHP and Terasaki have developed the Arc LogiX system. This system uses the concept of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;active circuit breaker suppressionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Potential arc flash incident energy is reduced by automatically adjusting down the short circuit protection settings of the incoming Air Circuit Breakers (ACBs).

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The Arc LogiX system utilises the Terasaki TemPower 2 ACB which can clear a short circuit fault in less than 30ms thanks to its patented double break contact design. 30ms is the fastest total short circuit clearance time available from any ACB on the market today.

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The consequences of an arc flash can include significant damage to switchgear, conductors and the switchboard. The worst consequence of such electrical faults is the injury or death of electrical maintenance staff who frequently work within electrical switchrooms.


NEWS

MAJOR WATER UTILITY RELEASES RECONCILIATION T

ACTION PLAN

he Water Corporation has been congratulated on its launch of the 2019-21 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which seeks to address social and economic disadvantage amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Western Australia. The fifth RAP released since 2008 challenges previous targets to help achieve the State Government’s vision for

Oxygen Analysers, Relative Humidity Sensors and Meters, Dewpoint Measurement

sustainable outcomes in employment, education, business and procurement opportunities. In a nation where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely to be out of work, WA’s public water utility has pledged to employ a workforce that is representative of the entire Western Australian community. Exceeding its 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

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

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ABOUT US workforce target of 3.2 per cent, the Water Corporation has set a new target of six per cent by September 2021. With nearly 60 per cent of its Aboriginal employees working outside the metropolitan area, the Water Corporation will continue to employ Aboriginal people regionally, enabling them to remain on their country and connected to their communities. Since 2007, the Water Corporation has awarded more than $7.8 million in contracts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers across the state. To continue to increase this participation, it has committed to achieving a three per cent progressive procurement target over the next three years. Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “Working towards true reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians is an important goal for the McGowan Government. “We still have a long way to go to achieve a society where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are treated with the respect they deserve, and where they have the same opportunities and life outcomes enjoyed by nonIndigenous Australians. “I want to congratulate the Water Corporation for its fifth reconciliation action plan. A robust RAP is a powerful tool to deliver practical actions which drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation, both internally and in the communities in which it operates. “I look forward to working with the Water Corporation to deliver this plan, particularly by achieving greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the workforce, bettering customer relations and importantly improving water infrastructure in WA’s remote communities.”

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NEWS

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED

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A

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used around the world to treat wastewater sludge and form biosolids for agricultural application such as fertiliser, but they’ve recently been shown to contribute to the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment plants,” Ms Aucote said. “As a young researcher, it’s incredibly satisfying to work on such a fantastic project that I believe will be beneficial not only to SA Water, but to other water utilities around the world.” Ms Aucote received the prestigious Water Research Australia (WaterRA) Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship at the industry association’s annual international Research and Innovation Gala Dinner, which provides a combined $25,000 in project funding and travel support. The award is given in memory of the late Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE, who was a pioneer for women

in science in Australia, and recognises students who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and a passion for research. “The experience and insight I will gain, along with the motivation of achieving this award, will help me to develop as a researcher and make a positive contribution to the water industry,” Ms Aucote said. “I’m extremely thankful to WaterRA for the award, and appreciative of the opportunities my supervisors have provided me throughout the project – the continual guidance and support they have offered has been integral to my development.” Ms Aucote’s passion for research has seen her flourish at SA Water, and her recent achievement builds on the 2018 Australian Water Awards National Student Water Prize she received for her Honours project through Flinders

University, where she graduated top of her cohort. She is supervised by SA Water Lead Scientist Environment and Wastewater, Dr Ben van den Akker, alongside Professor Zhiguo Yuan AM and Dr Shihu Hu of the Advanced Water Management Centre at the University of Queensland. “Her desire and commitment to helping improve the water industry through research is second to none, and we’re so proud that her efforts and qualities have been recognised through this terrific accolade,” Dr van den Akker said. “The win was a significant achievement and reflects her individual brilliance and initiative, and it will further inspire her to keep contributing to the betterment of the water industry.”

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NEWS

Australia’s biggest lithium processing plant

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

T

he Albemarle Kemerton Plant is a $1 billion investment in Western Australia, and will become the country’s largest lithium hydroxide plant, with approval to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of premium battery grade lithium hydroxide. Premier Mark McGowan joined the United States Ambassador to Australia, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., State and Federal Members of Parliament and Albemarle representatives on Thursday 28 March to officially turn the sod on the Albemarle Kemerton plant. The Western Australian Government is working with Albemarle to ensure job opportunities are maximised for local workers in Collie, Bunbury, the wider South-West and the Murray-Wellington region, with 500 construction jobs and a further 500 jobs expected to be available once operational. An Economic Development Plan for the region will identify strategies and specific training to assist the South-West workforce to take up job opportunities created by WA’s Future Battery Industry Strategy. The State Government is capitalising on the state’s unique resources and growth in the lithium-ion battery sector with the launch of the state’s Future Battery

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

Industry Strategy, and the creation of the Lithium and Energy Materials Taskforce. Western Australia is currently the number one global producer of lithium, the second largest global producer of rare earths, the third largest global producer of cobalt and the fourth largest global producer of nickel. Mr McGowan said he was pleased to take part in the sod-turning to mark the start of construction on Australia’s biggest lithium hydroxide project. “In February 2018, I met with representatives from Albemarle in Washington DC to discuss the possibility of launching a lithium project of this magnitude in WA. I congratulate Albemarle on making this vision become a reality. “My government’s number one priority is creating local jobs for local workers, so we have been working with Albemarle to make sure there are opportunities for local South-West workers from Collie, Bunbury and MurrayWellington. “With up to 1000 local jobs being created, this project will be a huge economic boost for the South-West region and will show the capability Western Australia has in the lithium-ion battery sector.”

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NEWS

IMPROVING SOLAR AND

WIND FORECASTING T

he Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), together with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has provided $9.41 million in funding to eleven projects which trial short-term forecasting at largescale wind and solar farms in Australia. The trial comprises at least 45 per cent of the National Electricity Market’s (NEM’s) registered wind and solar capacity, which collectively provides a total of 3.5GW of renewable electricity generation. ARENA’s funding will help to explore the potential for wind and solar farms to provide their own, more accurate, forecasts of their output into AEMO’s central dispatch system. The projects will enable further capability development, and provide valuable information to the market on delivering forecasts on a five-minute basis. Forecasting technology and factors that affect the accuracy of forecasts in different weather, operational conditions and geographies will also be investigated. AEMO is currently responsible for forecasting how much electricity will be generated by wind and solar farms, the output of which varies depending on the weather and time of day. If these supply forecasts are wrong or generators cannot meet their target, it can result in power system instability and higher operating costs. Wind and solar farms are penalised for not meeting a required output level or can be required to curtail their generation to match an overly conservative forecast. Under the market changes that AEMO has facilitated as part of this initiative, all wind and solar farms registered in the NEM will be able to submit their own five-minute ahead forecasts to AEMO, for use in central dispatch in order to improve the accuracy of market outcomes. The ARENA-funded trial will be exploring the benefits that this new capability brings to the system. The portfolio of eleven projects will involve a range of weather forecasting technologies including on-site cloud cameras that can predict the timing and impact of passing

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

clouds on a solar farm, wind speed radars, Japanese weather satellites, infrared, crunching of Bureau of Meteorology data and machine learning algorithms. ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said these trials will provide test cases for wind and solar to do their own five-minute forecasts just as traditional power plants do. “Working with AEMO, we’re supporting these trials to help avoid generators being unfairly penalised for inaccurate forecasts while also supporting system security by better matching demand with anticipated supply from variable renewable generators. “Much like traditional energy generators, we’re aiming to show that renewable energy is now capable of providing accurate measurement of energy output,” Mr Miller said. “With almost half of all solar and wind power generation taking part in projects in this initiative, this will lead to better deals for wind and solar farms, lower costs and more accurate data for AEMO. “Some solar and wind farms will be sites for several different technologies and some technologies will be tested across multiple sites so we will begin to understand the strengths of different approaches in different locations. “Improving forecasting of wind and solar generation will help better integrate variable renewable energy into the grid, reduce grid instability and reduce costs. It is a win-win for everyone.” “We are extremely pleased to see the collaboration between market participants, forecasting service providers and ARENA to deliver highly innovative solutions to the renewable energy sector,” said AEMO’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Zibelman. “Weather is the fuel for an ever-increasing proportion of the electricity generated across Australia, so it is vitally important that we foster innovation and rapid development of world leading technologies and services. As the market operator, we require the best possible information in realtime to manage the secure and reliable delivery of energy to Australian consumers, 24/7,” Ms Zibelman said.

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NEWS

DIGITAL UTILITIES 2.0: INSPIRING UTILITY PROFESSIONALS TO CREATE A CULTURE OF INNOVATION

An effective digital strategy can revolutionise all areas of the utility sector, and embracing new technologies and business models is vital for optimising asset management, improving network operations and keeping up with changing customer demands. Representatives from Australia’s water and energy utilities recently gathered at Digital Utilities, a two-day event that provides delegates with the tools to use digital technologies to accelerate and transform their organisations.

D

igital Utilities 2019 was held from 21–22 March at the Pullman Hotel in Albert Park, Melbourne, and provided a platform for utility leaders to share and discuss the challenges of digital transformation, and learn from those already seeing the benefits. Bentley Systems — a global software development company with a portfolio of solutions that accelerate project delivery and improve asset performance — was the Event Partner for a second year running. AVEVA, which provides leading software solutions across the asset and operations lifecycles, was the Major Sponsor, with Paul Banfield, Segment Director – Water & Wastewater at AVEVA, delivering an informative presentation on the transformation of operational and business processes to enable better collaboration between people and systems. They were joined by three other sponsors: Nearmap, which offers the most current high-resolution aerial images of areas all over Australia, so you can remotely inspect your worksite from anywhere; Peter Norman Personnel, an established professional recruitment company with long-standing relationships in manufacturing and utility industries; and Localz, which assists companies with last mile delivery services and field technician appointments. The expert speaker lineup was spearheaded by two excellent keynotes - Nigel Watson, Group Information Services Director at the UK’s Northumbrian Water, and Mark Paterson, General Manager Consumer Energy at Horizon Power. As international keynote, Mr Watson was able to share his tried and tested ideas around new business models, innovating and developing new products, and thinking differently by putting customers at the heart of solutions in his presentation Becoming the world’s most digital water company — at the same time highlighting what Australia and the UK can learn from each other.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

“The advent of cloud computing is a major catalyst, enabling capabilities that were previously uneconomical to utilities,” Mr Watson said. “Northumbrian Water Group has a vision to become the most digital water company in the world. Of course, this is not an objective that stands on its own. It is supportive of its key goals which are to deliver an unrivalled customer experience, continue to offer great value services and ensure that it can mitigate the impacts of climate change.” Mark Paterson kicked off day two of the conference with his domestic keynote presentation Utility self-disruption for a low carbon future. According to Mr Paterson, it is plausible that up to 50 per cent of Australia's electricity volume in 2050 will be generated by millions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), creating two-way flows of power that the grid was not designed to accommodate. “Our traditional 'poles and wires' networks will have evolved into digitised, many-to-many, transactive platforms. Enabling this transformation, however, is proving to be a monumental process of strategic change impacting all parts of traditional utility businesses.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


NEWS

These keynote presentations were supported by five interesting and informative presentations: • Kate Fuelling, Digital Excellence Consultant: Digital transformation — we are doing it wrong • Geoff Purcell, Chief Technology Officer at Melbourne Water: From utility to digital business innovator — learnings from our digital transformation journey • Maree Mamo, Partner, Management Consulting at KPMG: Lessons learned from large-scale transformation • Amanda Finnis, Chief Information Officer at Coliban Water: Water utilities and emerging technologies: where’s the killer app? • Wayne Pales, General Manager Technology Strategy at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO): Demand Response — crossing the chasm from pilots to operations Day one also included a panel discussion on Achieving cyber security resilience, where Mr Watson joined Ian McKenzie, General Manager IT Operations and Service Management at Jemena, and Michael McKinnon, Strategic Information Security Advisor and Principal Consultant at PS&C Security. They offered delegates advice on how to keep their data and digital assets secure, prepare for and respond to cyber attacks, and create a culture where identifying security risks becomes the responsibility of every employee.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS OFFER A VARIETY OF PERSPECTIVES The second day of Digital Utilities 2019 featured four panel sessions, split into morning and afternoon streams. The stream, The connected customer — staying relevant in a changing world, featured Toby Evans, Senior Manager Digital Transformation at SA Water; Michelle Grigg, Marketing Manager at Powershop and Rita McPhail, Manager Customer Engagement and Programs at SA Power Networks. These three panellists discussed how utilities can provide their customers with a rich digital experience that is both mobile and social, and empowers them to take control of their water and energy use. This is not an area where the sector has historically excelled and change is needed, with technology playing a major role in overhauling the way the industry interacts with its customers. During the other morning stream, delegates heard from Graham Rix, Chief Information Officer at SA Water; Caroline Hussey, Team Leader Business Enablement, Service Delivery at Melbourne Water; and Cate Hilliard, Manager, IT Capital Portfolio at SA Power Networks for a panel session titled A new core — unleashing the digital potential in utility operations. Fuelled by advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, digital technologies are transforming the way utilities operate — how they create value, serve customers, manage costs, optimise processes and capture new market opportunities. Our panellists delved into how to use digital technologies to UTILITY • MAY 2019

improve operational efficiency and workforce mobility. The afternoon streams had a specific sector focus, with one exploring how high levels of variable renewable energy and DER have increased the complexity of electricity network management, while the other discussion centred on how Australia’s rapidly growing population and climate change are increasing the pressure on water resources. As part of the Innovation in electricity networks — building the grid of the future panel, Fiona Bishop, Executive Manager Change and Innovation at Western Power; Dr. Adam Bumpus, Senior Researcher at the Energy Transition Hub; and Eddie Thanavelil, Demand Side Innovation Engineer, Customer Connections at Evoenergy talked about the process of grid modernisation, and how energy companies can navigate this complex transformation while keeping the lights on and prices down. The panel, The smart water utility — improving water management featured Terri Benson, Managing Director at South East Water; Colin Chapman, Innovation, Research and Development Manager at Queensland Urban Utilities; and Pablo Ledezma from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities looking at how water utilities are adopting and leveraging smart water and wastewater technologies to deliver greater value to customers and improve asset performance and longevity. The Super Panel, featuring seven key speakers from across the two days, wrapped up the conference and offered a ‘big picture’ view of all the topics covered.

DEVELOPING INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS In addition to knowledge-sharing, the aim of Digital Utilities 2019 was to enable delegates to network and meet other members of the utility community. Multiple speed networking sessions provided delegates with introductions to colleagues and other industry professionals. These formal sessions were in addition to the multiple opportunities to connect with other attendees during the networking lunches and breaks. Exhibitors from digital and technology related companies were also there to showcase the latest innovations in the sector, helping delegates gain a better understanding of how to integrate digital solutions within their organisation. The exhibition area was triple the size of the inaugural 2018 event, offering delegates access to a variety of new and emerging technologies. For many of the organisations attending, one of the main highlights of the event was finding out the winners of 2019 Digital Utility Awards at the Digital Utilities gala dinner and awards ceremony — full coverage of this evening of fun and celebration is over the page. The third annual Digital Utilities event will be held again in the first half of 2020 – keep reading Utility in print and online so you can stay up to date with all the details as they are announced.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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NEWS

WINNERS OF THE 2019 DIGITAL UTILITY AWARDS ANNOUNCED The winners of the 2019 Digital Utility Awards were revealed on Thursday 21 March at a gala dinner and awards ceremony that was held as part of Digital Utilities 2019. Six awards were handed out in total, celebrating the utility industry’s greatest achievements in the digitisation of utility networks, processes and practices across Australia.

T

he calibre of entries for this year’s awards was extremely high and choosing the winners proved to be a difficult decision for the panel of judges which included Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia; Andrew Dillon, CEO, Energy Networks Australia; and Cassandra Hogan, National Sector Leader – Power & Utilities, KPMG. The three judges have a wealth of experience across water and power utilities. Sponsored by Bentley Systems, a global software development company with a portfolio of solutions that accelerate project delivery and improve asset performance, the Digital Utility Awards gala dinner was attended by senior

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

leaders and experts from utilities around Australia. Both the awards and the Digital Utilities conference aim to gather some of the best ideas when it comes to the digital transformation of utilities, so that all of the industry can benefit from some of the impressive changes that are being made as we make this journey towards being truly digital utilities. The winning entries were deemed the best in utility digitisation for 2019, and were among high-quality finalists in each category. Utility would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners of the awards and looks forward to working with the industry again for next year’s event. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


NEWS

BEST CUSTOMER INNOVATION In recognition of the best digital innovation focused on improving customer outcomes. FINALISTS: Endeavour Energy – for its interactive mapping portal providing information on network limitations Flux Federation – for its retail platform that was purpose built for energy companies Jemena – for its demand response program ‘Power Changers’ Sydney Water – for the development and implementation of its Customer Hub TasNetworks – for its Voice of the Customer Program TracWater – for its Portable Robotic Water Quality Analyser Utilibill – for its cloud-based retail platform disrupting the utility billing space

BEST USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY In recognition of the best new technology in place across a utility network.

UTILITY INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR Awarded to the individual making the biggest contribution to the digital transformation of their utility.

FINALISTS: GHD and Unitywater – for their sewer overflow prediction tool utilising machine learning Icon Water – for the modernising of its GIS system SA Power Networks – for its MyWorkday automated timesheet solution Synergy – for its use of Robotic Processing Automation and IQ Bot introduction Unitywater – for its Mobile Field Office solution Western Power – for its Field Mobility Services program

FINALISTS: Andrew Forster-Knight – South East Water James Ireland – TRILITY Karen Pollock – Queensland Urban Utilities Margarita Camus – Queensland Urban Utilities Toby Evans – SA Water WINNER: ANDREW FORSTER-KNIGHT

WINNER: SA POWER NETWORKS

WINNER: JEMENA

YOUNG DIGITAL LEADER OF THE YEAR Awarded to the young person (under 35) demonstrating outstanding performance and passion for achieving digital transformation within their utility.

DIGITAL UTILITY OF THE YEAR – ENERGY Awarded to the energy utility showcasing the best use and implementation of digital technologies, tools and processes across their organisation.

DIGITAL UTILITY OF THE YEAR – WATER Awarded to the water utility showcasing the best use and implementation of digital technologies, tools and processes across their organisation.

FINALISTS: Adam Severino – Sydney Water Jack Cunnington – City West Water Lucille Burkitt – Queensland Urban Utilities Luke Dix – SA Water

FINALISTS: Evoenergy Jemena SA Power Networks Western Power

FINALISTS: Queensland Urban Utilities SA Water South East Water Sydney Water

WINNER: SA POWER NETWORKS

WINNER: SYDNEY WATER

WINNER: ADAM SEVERINO

UTILITY • MAY 2019

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25


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WATER MANAGEMENT

WATER MANAGEMENT OF THE HIGHEST ORDER 28

UTILITY â&#x20AC;¢ MAY 2019

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WATER MANAGEMENT

In January 2019, Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Director of The University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia. This award recognises his significant service to science through urban water management, and to higher education. Utility Editor, Charlotte Pordage, caught up with him to learn more about one of Australia’s most esteemed engineers.

P

rofessor Yuan said that he felt extremely honoured to receive the award, and also very humbled. “There are so many others that probably did more than me, without receiving an honour like this. I feel I’m doing my part for water industry innovation, but this is not something that can be done by an individual or even a small team. For the past 20 years, I’ve been working with a large number of people who I regard as the innovators of the water industry,” Professor Yuan said. No stranger to accolades, Professor Yuan’s other notable awards and appointments include: • Appointed Distinguished Fellow, International Water Association, 2018 • Recipient, Laureate Fellowship, Australian Research Council, 2017 • Recipient, National Research Innovation Award, Australian Water Association, 2017 • Appointed Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 2015 • Recipient, Clunies Ross Award, 2015 • Recipient, Global Project Innovation Award, International Water Association, 2014 • Recipient, Graduate School Supervision Award, University of Queensland, 2010 • Recipient, Excellence Award in Research, Development and Innovation, Engineers Australia, 2008 Professor Yuan began his studies in aeronautical engineering, receiving a PhD in 1992 from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China. He shifted his research direction to wastewater management in 1994 after taking up a postdoctoral research fellow position at Ghent University in Belgium and not feeling fulfilled by his work in the aeronautical sector. “I wanted to do something that allowed me to contribute to society. I decided to change to environmental engineering, since environmental issues were gaining a lot of attention at the time and I thought it was something I may be able to apply my skills to,” Professor Yuan said. On 22 March 1998, Professor Yuan arrived in Australia and started his career with the Advanced Water Management

UTILITY • MAY 2019

Centre (AWMC) at The University of Queensland. He was promoted to Deputy Director of the AWMC in 2001 and then Director in 2015. One of the things Professor Yuan enjoys most about his current role is working with industry to solve real-world problems. “When I launched my career, I wanted to work on things that were relevant and that could address real issues. Working closely with the utility industry aligns very well with my initial objective. Research should not just be contained to the laboratory.” Professor Yuan is also passionate about supervising and mentoring researchers in the early stages of their careers. “Twenty years ago, I was a young researcher, but now I’m becoming one of the most senior people in the centre, both in terms of age and also in terms of experience. Since then, we have attracted a lot of talent to the centre, which is one of the top research centres in the world in urban water management, and all our staff and students contribute immensely to its success,” Professor Yuan said. By supervising and mentoring the next generation of research leaders, I feel I’m building capacity not only for the centre, but also for the nation. Although I’m very busy, I never tire of the meetings with my PhD students and younger researchers. I meet with them often, discussing research projects and how they should develop their ideas.”

MAKING BETTER USE OF WATER RESOURCES Even when he is juggling close to ten projects at a time, Professor Yuan does not just like to oversee something, he prefers to be deeply involved. Right now, his research is focused on three main areas: sewer corrosion and odour management, resource recovery and reuse, and integrated water management. Professor Yuan was one of the founding members of the $117 million Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and was leader of the Future Technologies Program. He explained that the main challenges and opportunities currently facing the water industry are not very different from many other sectors.

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WATER MANAGEMENT

Water management of the highest order

“The three big ones are population growth, urbanisation and climate change. These are the challenges driving many industries, but water in particular is very sensitive to those challenges. “We can’t really continue to build more dams, to source water from outside. We can’t just expand our cities and large networks, our centralised water supply and wastewater treatment systems. We need to look at integrating different water sources that we don’t normally look at. “That includes recycled wastewater, because wastewater is 99.9 per cent of water, and stormwater. We receive a lot of water from the sky, but the problem is we’re not retaining it. It hits impermeable ground, forming runoff and then just flows into the rivers. We lose that water, and we also contaminate our rivers because the runoff contains a lot of pollutants." Professor Yuan sees decentralised business models as a key component of integrated water management. “Currently we rely mainly on central services. When you have more people living in denser cities, you’ve got more high-rises, and that means we need to provide more water and wastewater services. “Decentralised solutions are usually more expensive, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. Imagine a city where the population increases by 50 per cent, what do you do with your basic infrastructure? You have to build new networks, which is not a trivial task in an established area. “By providing decentralised services, you don’t have to expand your central facilities tomorrow, next year or in 20 years’ time. You do spend more money per cubic metre of water in comparison to centralised services, but you delay that major capital investment, meaning that your decentralised solution may not be that expensive anymore. With decentralised solutions, we can also have fit-for-purpose water production. “Decentralised systems give us a lot of flexibility, and you can actually produce water with the quality that you need. If you need to water your garden or your green space, then you just remove the pathogens in greywater. But you definitely don’t need to make water that is suitable for drinking for gardens. “In Brisbane, we have water recycling plants, where wastewater is purified to produce high-quality water. The issue here is that central wastewater services are often situated at the low point in a city, because you want to have sewage flowing to that point with minimum energy input. To produce recycled water there, the treated wastewater has to be pumped for tens of kilometres to distribute it back to households and businesses. If you have decentralised solutions you don’t need to transport that water — it’s available where it’s needed.”

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THE IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS One of the core aspects of integrated water management is that it requires collaboration between all of the organisations that influence the water cycle. While collaborative approaches tend to deliver better outcomes for communities, there are challenges involved when disparate organisations have to work together. Professor Yuan recently led an industry linkage project with a number of partners, including Seqwater, Queensland Urban Utilities, DC Water in the US, Public Utilities Board in Singapore and Water Research Australia, that investigated the integrated management of the sludge generated in drinking water production. He cited this project as an example of how important it is to bring different organisations together to address problems that can impact multiple stages of the water cycle. “A key step in water treatment is the addition of a coagulant to remove natural organic matter and suspended solids. Typically, you would add aluminium sulphate and the aluminum would drop out with the solids and organic matter, forming drinking water sludge,” Professor Yuan said. “The sulphate is soluble and actually stays in the drinking water. In the human body, it’s not going to induce any health issues, because we can tolerate quite high levels of sulphate. It’s a big problem for the sewer network however, because we have corrosion and odour issues through the formation of hydrogen sulphide. “There is a strong need to change the coagulant in drinking water treatment. It’s a billion dollar problem and 70 per cent of drinking water plants across the world use aluminium sulphate. Drinking water providers may not see the addition of aluminium sulphate as an issue, because it’s cheaper than other coagulants and can produce high-quality water. The effect on wastewater is no good though. “The addition of ferric chloride to the sewer network for sulphide control is a well established strategy, and if you use ferric salts for drinking water production, the ferric will separate from the water into your sludge.” With the findings from this project, Professor Yuan said that there is a good opportunity for water and wastewater service providers to work together, despite their different roles in the water industry. “I’d like to highlight the importance for researchers and industry to work together. Researchers want to solve real problems, not fake problems,” Professor Yuan said. “We have the knowledge, science and technology to support industry and we can use these strengths to provide fundamental solutions.”

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WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

Filtec and Practical Filtration Solutions:

MAKING WATER SAFER TOGETHER Filtec is pleased to announce the acquisition of Practical Filtration Solutions (PFS) – a Melbourne-based water treatment design, installation, and servicing specialist of a variety of water treatment systems.

F

iltec, a New Zealand based design, construction, service and water treatment optimisation company, has been operating in Victoria for four years and formed a partnership with PFS in 2018 via its subsidiary Filtec International. The two companies have delivered a number of key projects in the industrial and municipal water treatment sectors, leveraging Filtec’s design and fabrication capability, and PFS’ local presence and experience. Founded in 2002, PFS has significant experience in water filtration, membranes, desalination and process separation. Combining the best technology sourced from around the world with the best local service and support, Filtec and PFS both have established reputations for turning leading global technologies into bespoke solutions. Filtec and PFS combined will have over 80 people in New Zealand and Australia, with a turnover of NZ$40 million in 2019. PFS ceased trading from 1 April 2019 and will operate as Filtec International.

With a growing recognition of water purity and public safety, and the obligation to care for what we return into our environment, industrial and municipal customers in both New Zealand and Australia are relying more on water treatment, re-use and conservation specialists like Filtec. Together, Filtec international and the PFS team will continue to grow, leveraging strong synergies, experience and partnerships in both countries to make water safer for Australia and New Zealand.

Filtec is committed to making water safer Safer for drinking, safer for manufacturing, safer to put back into our environment.

03 9543 5096 sales@filtecinternational.com.au www.filtecinternational.com.au UTILITY • MAY 2019

25+

years in the water treatment industry.

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WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

ENHANCED

STORMWATER MONITORING With increased urbanisation, stormwater runoff has become an increasingly important problem to address. Stormwater pollution, protection and mitigation can only be effective if the stormwater flows themselves are monitored and quantified, not only for pollutants but also volumetrically.

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ypically, stormwater is conveyed through open channels and partially full pipes. The MACE FloPro XCi, exclusively available from Thermo Fisher Scientific, is ideally suited to measure these flows. The often turbulent flows with high levels of suspended solids are perfect for MACE Doppler ultrasonic flow measurement. Combined with a downward looking ultrasonic depth sensor, storm flows up to 10m/s (33ft/s) can be accurately measured. Moreover, stormwater quality parameters can be measured with the input/output capabilities of the FloPro

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UTILITY â&#x20AC;˘ MAY 2019

(using third party sensors for DO, pH & turbidity etc), and volumetrically sampled by driving a water sampler. In the example shown, the FloPro XCi is monitoring a typical stormwater culvert along a highway. In conjunction with a MACE Doppler ultrasonic area/velocity sensor, rainfall is measured and a sampler is also interfaced. With a MACE WebComm card installed, these readings are available 24/7 on the MACE website, and can be sent via SMS or email to any mobile phone.

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Surface water monitoring and sampling Multi-parameter sonde and automatic water samplers Surface water is a vital component of our aquatic ecosystem and is the major source of community water supply. Successfully measure, monitor and control surface water quality and quantity, from field sampling to hydrological and meteorological data management, Thermo Fisher Scientific together with our supplier partners offer complete and customised solutions to support smarter decision making.

Customizable, powerful multiparameter sonde for determination of DO conductivity, turbidity, pH/ORP, Chlorine, Ammonium and nitrate ISE

Order Placement: For customer service, call 1300-735-292 To fax an order, use 1800-067-639 To email an order, AUinfo@thermofisher.com

Integrated solutions for flow metering, flow monitoring and data logging

Portable and fixed automatic water samplers for accurate volume determination

Contact Us: For customer service, call 1300-735-292 For service and calibration, call 1300-736-767 To order online: thermofisher.com.au

Find out more at thermofisher.com.au/surfacewater Š 2019 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of Thermo Fisher Scientific and its subsidiaries unless otherwise specified.


WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

AUSTRALIAN STEEL FACILITATES

CONSTRUCTION OF W2BH PIPELINE

Pipeline manufacturer Steel Mains supplied almost 30,000 tonnes of steel pipes for the 270km W2BH project, completed in December 2018. The project will secure a long-term water supply for Broken Hill, whilst enabling growth and prosperity for communities in regional NSW.

I

n October 2017, WaterNSW appointed a consortium of John Holland, MPC Kinetic and TRILITY to design, build, operate and maintain the Wentworth to Broken Hill Pipeline (W2BH). WaterNSW CEO, David Harris, said WaterNSW is proud to have led such a significant regional project as the W2BH, which will guarantee water security for the Broken Hill community. The project has been recognised as one of the fastest completed infrastructure projects ever built in New South Wales. “Approximately $3 million was invested into training, providing workers with transferable experience and skills for future work,” Mr Harris said. “With the workforce reaching around 500 workers at peak times, local economies experienced benefits of an estimated $50 million.”

CONSTRUCTION The project was scheduled for completion by December 2018, with construction commencing in February 2018. By the end of that year, all 270km of pipe had been laid. The pipeline was constructed underground, from both ends, following the trajectory of the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill. The raw water that will be transported through the pipeline is being sourced near Wentworth on the River Murray. A Joint Venture (JV) of John Holland-TRILITY will now be responsible for the pipeline maintenance for a period of 20 years. USING AUSTRALIAN STEEL In 2014, an Options Assessment by NSW Public Works identified Steel Mains’ fusion bonded, polyethylene coated, Sintakote mild steel cement lined pipes as the preferred material for use in W2BH. The decision was based on the design flexibility, price, laying cost, product quality and service life. Steelmakers at BlueScope’s Port Kembla plant produced the 29,000 plus tonnes of hot rolled coil. The hot rolled coil was then delivered to Steel Mains’ manufacturing plants in

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Somerton, Victoria, and Kwinana, Western Australia, where it was formed into line pipe. Of the 270km of pipe, 172km was manufactured at the Somerton plant, with the remainder at Kwinana. At the plants, the hot rolled coils were transformed into spiral welded pipe, in lengths of approximately 12 and 13.5m, with each section weighing about three tonnes. The complex manufacturing process involved more than 240 Steel Mains employees at its peak, facilitating the formation of 16 different pipe configurations. In total, 20,800 individual steel pipe lengths were manufactured by Steel Mains. Steel Mains also used two local fabrication subcontractors in Wentworth and Broken Hill for specialised fabricated pipe specials, which brought a skills legacy to communities local to the pipeline.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS A key benefit of the Steel Mains solution was that all pipeline materials were domestically sourced. Between 30 to 40 per cent of direct activity from the pipeline’s construction occurred with the NSW economy at Bluescope’s production facilities and through transportation of the steel product. This provided benefits to the supply chain of NSW state and national economies, along with jobs and income for workers and their families. The option of importing pipeline materials such as ductile iron cement was ruled out to both take advantage of these benefits, and simultaneously avert significant procurement costs. PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE The Illawarra’s Parliamentary Secretary, Gareth Ward, recently toured the hot strip mill at Port Kembla, where steel is rolled to thickness. Ward says the pipeline is one of the steelworks’ most significant projects, comprised of the equivalent of over half the amount of steel used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For more information, visit www.steelmains.com.

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PROVIDING SECUIRTY PROVIDING SECURITY Steel Mains is proud to be Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest manufacturer of Mild Steel pipes for the water industry. We continue to manufacture SintakoteÂŽ Steel pipe with manufacturing facilities located in both Victoria and Western Australia. Materials and labour required to manufacture our pipes are sourced locally, ensuring our pipes enjoy greater than 98% local content. Local stock, delivery and design & installation support mean that Steel Mains is able to reduce all your pipeline supply risks. Local manufacture and product Standardsmark certification provide you with that additional supply security, with all aspects of our manufacturing meeting Australian quality standards. When the lifespan and security of your asset are important to you, Steel Mains Sintakote pipeline systems are your ideal choice for your next pipeline project.


WATER MANAGEMENT

Managing water demand

IN SOUTH EAST

QUEENSLAND For South East Queensland’s bulk water authority, Seqwater, influencing community and industry to use water efficiently and wisely is a major focus. The region has welcomed an additional one million residents over the past 15 years, and is facing further significant population growth and an increasingly changing climate.

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eqwater knows that providing safe, secure and affordable tap water now, and in the future, relies on robust planning, community engagement and social change. South East Queensland sweltered through a hot and dry 2018/19 summer, which saw water use reach its highest levels since the Millennium Drought between 2001 and 2008. In January, water use across the region peaked at a record 239L per person per day (Lpd), about 25Lpd higher than the same time last year and 70Lpd higher than the average use since the drought. Peak demand combined with a lack of rainfall and inflows into the region’s dams saw combined dam levels fall to 70 per cent capacity in March, the lowest level since February 2010. With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting below average rainfall and warm conditions to continue, Seqwater, together with the region’s water retailers, must be ready to manage high demand during prolonged dry weather. Seqwater Chief Executive Officer, Neil Brennan, said that one of the key learnings from the Millennium Drought was the importance of engaging with the community early to encourage and instil water wise behaviour. “We operate in a challenging and changing environment. Over the past 15 years, SEQ has experienced the worst drought in 100 years followed by the worst flood in 100 years in 2011 and yet another major flood in 2013,’’ Mr Brennan said. “We have experienced the aftermath of several cyclones which impacted our ability to supply. “While the community has adapted to these extremes, our climate is expected to become increasingly variable which will add to the complexity of water wise messaging during peak demand times. “If we can’t communicate effectively and quickly with residents, we cannot expect to manage water use efficiently throughout the region.”

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WATER MANAGEMENT

UTILITY â&#x20AC;¢ MAY 2019

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WATER MANAGEMENT

Managing water demand in South East Queensland

But even when behaviour change is adopted, it may not last. This is not surprising given that water is affordable, easily accessible and many people do not appreciate the costs of consistently providing a product to customers’ taps every day of the year. “Following the Millennium Drought, we realised we needed to continuously work in partnership with the community for people to value water and see it as a precious resource all year round, not just during extreme weather events,” Mr Brennan said.

EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY To create a platform for consistent community engagement, Seqwater developed its Water Future Program. Based on the notion that ‘we can’t count on the rain when and where we need it’, the program seeks to understand community views on liveability, water security planning considerations and potential supply options to achieve a shared vision for the region’s water future. As part of the program, Seqwater extended its water education to increase community understanding of the water cycle, how water is sourced, stored, treated and supplied. Engagement activities have so far included community forums, surveys, information sessions and community events. Seqwater collected feedback from more than one hundred people across northern regions from August to October 2018, and will extend the program to the southern and central regions in 2019. Seqwater’s school-based program for teachers and students from Prep to Year 12, H2O Kids, inspires students through storytelling and inquiry-based learning at schools or at an Seqwater site. Interactive displays and an augmented reality sandpit allow students to learn about water management and build their knowledge of the water cycle. More than 14,000 students have engaged with H2O Kids, with a total of 25,000 students expected to participate by the end of 2019. “We aim for our engagement to be based on foresight rather than hindsight, which is why these programs are so important to Seqwater. By consistently working with and talking to the community, we can encourage water wise behaviour and better manage demand now, and into the future,” Mr Brennan said. While Mr Brennan believes the SEQ community is generally water efficient, the growing population is increasing the demand for water and reiterates the need for ongoing water wise messaging. South East Queensland is the third largest urban area in Australia and is currently home to more than 3.2 million people. The Queensland Government’s most recent population projections indicate that the region is expected to grow to around 5.5 million people by 2041. The pattern of population growth is unlikely to be uniform across the region. Where and how people live, and how they use and value water, will have a major impact on demand trends. Increasing densification could require more water supply infrastructure in already established areas or lead to better use of existing infrastructure in those areas.

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BAROON POCKET DAM AT 46 PER CENT CAPACITY IN MARCH 2017.

EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES Seqwater has managed the design and operation of Australia’s first Water Grid since the Millennium Drought. It allows drinking water to be moved across the region and includes 26 dams, 51 weirs, 34 water treatment plants and 646km of supply pipelines. Seqwater modelling and analysis shows that apart from a severe drought or a significant change in supply or demand, the Water Grid can supply the region with enough water until about 2040. After that, South East Queensland will need new water sources to meet growing demand. No single option on its own is likely to meet the region’s needs; rather, a combination of options will be required. “The South East Queensland community has remained water efficient since the Millennium Drought. This efficiency has contributed to delays in water restrictions and the need for future water supply infrastructure,” Mr Brennan said. In extreme dry periods where demand peaks, a response plan has been developed to balance cost, water security and community outcomes. The plan includes triggers for actions to increase climate-resilient supply, engage communities to manage demand and change the operation of the Water Grid to optimise available water resources. Under the current plan, the Gold Coast Desalination Plant will increase its production up to 100 per cent capacity if combined Grid dam levels reach 60 per cent. Seqwater will also remobilise the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, which will be required to be fully operational should the combined Grid dam levels fall to 40 per cent capacity. Water restrictions would only be required if dam levels fell below 50 per cent capacity. Mr Brennan explained that part of the challenge with desalination and purified recycled water options was encouraging social acceptance. He believes that community education programs like the Water Future Program and H2O Kids are key to achieving this goal and will help provide water security for the region for years to come. “Demand will continue to be impacted by climate, population growth and changes in how people consume water. However, our network of assets and extensive community engagement means we are better placed to manage water supply and planning than ever before,” he said. “Regardless of how demand evolves, Seqwater will remain committed to delivering safe, reliable and affordable drinking water to South East Queenslanders, and achieving our vision: Water for life.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

EXPANDING CAPABILITIES

FOR HDPE PIPE

High density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe has a track record spanning more than 60 years in Australia and is established as the system of choice for the transport of gas, pressurised sewerage, mining slurry and potable water. HDPE pipes are lightweight, corrosion free and feature an optimal strength-flexibility compromise, resulting in long service life and costeffective installation.

T

he HDPE pipe industry is characterised by a collective drive for continuous improvement across the value chain, exemplified by the evolution of materials from HDPE Type 50 in the 1950s to the state-of-the-art PE100 resins available today. This drive for innovation has by no means come to an end and three examples are provided here on how HDPE pipe capabilities are expanding to larger pipe dimensions and longer design lifetimes.

SIZE DOES MATTER Whilst HDPE pipes have traditionally dominated the diameter range up to 450mm, nowadays installation of DN/ OD pipes of over 1800mm are becoming commonplace. The use of low slump materials, such as Alkadyne HDF145B, coupled with advances in pipe extrusion technology, enable the efficient production of large diameter pipes with wall thicknesses in excess of 120mm while meeting tight dimensional tolerance specifications. Qenos has been involved in a number of projects in the last two years that demonstrate the capability of large diameter HDPE pipe. Examples include a dual DN1200mm PN16 pipeline made from Alkadyne HDF145B, used to cross the Hunter River in NSW by horizontal directional drilling (HDD) as part of the Chichester Trunk Gravity Main upgrade. In greater Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, five sections of up to 1.6km length of DN900mm PN20

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pipe made from the same material were used to upgrade Unitywater’s pressurised sewerage infrastructure, also using HDD. In both projects, high welding efficiencies were achieved by applying best practices in butt-fusion welding which was further aided by the high uniformity in the wall thickness of the pipes.

EXTENDING DESIGN LIFE The design life of HDPE piping systems is at least 50 years at 20°C, with service life dictated by the hydrostatic strength of the material at a given design temperature. Condition assessment studies have shown life expectancies well in excess of 100 years are achievable. The use of nonconventional installation techniques such as HDD may put the pipe under additional stress and limit the service life. PE100 with high stress-crack resistance (PE100 HSCR) defined in PIPA Guideline POP016 is able to withstand these higher stresses and prolong the service life of trenchless installations. The first PE100 HSCR pipeline in Australia was installed in 2017, where DN450mm and DN315mm PN20 pipes made from Alkadyne HCR193B were installed by HDD under the Causeway Lake estuary in Yeppoon QLD to expand the capacity of the existing water main. More recently, the same material powered a DN800mm PN20 pipe used in two HDD sections of up to 1.3km length for Perth’s groundwater replenishment scheme. Alkadyne HCR193B was selected by utilities in both cases to improve asset life and durability, thereby reducing whole-of-life costs and maintaining supply to their customers. Another pathway to increasing the design life of HDPE piping systems, particularly when exposed to elevated temperature and presence of oxidative agents, is to select a pipe material that features not only high stress-crack resistance, but also higher resistance to oxidative degradation. Hostalen CRP100 RCD Black combines both of these properties to increase pipe system longevity, whilst at the same time expanding the application range of HDPE pipes to include higher temperatures and media containing aggressive chemicals. To find out more about the HDPE pipe materials and case studies mentioned in this article, visit www.alkadyne.com.au.

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Alkadyne® PE100 MADE FROM AUSTRALIAN GAS TO KEEP AUSTRALIA MOVING ENGINEERED TO OUTPERFORM

A RANGE THAT DELIVERS

Alkadyne® PE100 exceeds the standard requirements providing pipeline asset owners with piece of mind and reducing whole of life costs.

From PE100 HSCR to disinfectant resistant PE100 RCD, Alkadyne® grades can meet design life expectations even in the toughest of Australian environments.

www.alkadyne.com.au 1800 063 573


WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

HUNTER WATER TO IMPLEMENT

PROVEN ENERGY SOLUTION Hunter Water has awarded SUEZ the contract to implement the proven AQUADVANCED® Energy solution. Embraced by over 20 utilities worldwide, the software will optimise water distribution throughout Hunter Water’s network, helping to reduce its energy consumption and environmental footprint.

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he software will monitor and control pumps, control valves and storages. It will use real-time data about water consumption, forecasts and energy prices to schedule and control water supply to meet consumer demand at the lowest price, while also meeting operational requirements. Servicing over half a million people in the Lower Hunter region, it is anticipated that Hunter Water will deliver substantial ongoing electricity cost savings by improving the efficiency of the distribution system using Aquadvanced® Energy. The project will also provide operational benefits by improving water quality, extending the life of the assets in the network and improving decision making about operational and economic constraints. The outcome of this project will contribute towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. SUEZ is a global leader in developing smart technologies for the water sector. The implementation of SUEZ’s Aquadvanced® Energy has proven benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, the implementation of Aquadvanced® Energy by Essex and Suffolk Water enabled the utility to supply its 1.5 million customers through optimised pumping strategies, saving 15 per cent in energy costs and a reduction of 1460 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

EMBRACING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES Ruben MacNeil, Group Manager Intelligent Networks at Hunter Water, said, “Hunter Water welcomes the partnership with SUEZ to deliver energy and operational efficiencies across our network. This project is a great example of how we’re embracing new and innovative solutions to deliver sustainable water services.” Stuart Gowans, General Manager, Business Development Water at SUEZ, is delighted to bring the Aquadvanced® suite to Australia, and deliver benefits for Hunter Water and the region’s customers. “Aquadvanced® Energy is a highly advanced network optimiser that typically reduces overall pumping energy bills by 10-15 per cent. We look forward to working with Hunter Water to help deliver energy efficiencies and financial savings, using this leading-edge technology.” This project builds on the successful trial of Aquadvanced® Energy in the Hunter Water network in 2018, which tested the compatibility of the technology with Hunter Water’s existing infrastructure. Implementation of this project has already started, with operations to begin in 2020. Aquadvanced® Energy is one of several solutions that form part of SUEZ’s Aquadvanced suite, which will be discussed at Ozwater 2019, taking place from 7–9 May.

Want to know more? Connect with Sean Cohen, Senior Manager Smart Water, at SUEZ’s Expert Hub at Ozwater’19. Contact erin.evanochko@suez.com to book a time with Sean for a confidential discussion.

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WATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

PUMPING POOLS INTO PRISTINE CONDITION When the Northern Beaches Council needed a seawater pump to fill and flush its beachside pool at Freshwater, it bought a Tsurumi cast 316 stainless steel submersible. The council has been using Tsurumi SFQ series pumps to circulate the water in their pristine pools for many years. “There are a number of these submersibles installed in various pools on the North Shore, circulating seawater to maintain a healthy swimming environment,” Australian Pump Industries’ Tsurumi Product Manager, Neil Bennett, said. “These pumps don’t fail from corrosion; the last one only choked when blocked with a discarded shoe. We’ve been told by the council that these pumps generally last eight to ten years in the pools.” Tsurumi SFQ series 316 cast stainless steel submersibles are designed to handle a range of corrosive applications, including saltwater. Conventional cast iron and lower grade stainless steel pumps are literally eaten away by seawater. The SFQ range includes two and three inch three phase pumps, with heads up to 44m and flows up to 2,000LPM. The ones used in the pools on Sydney’s Northern Beaches have a three inch outlet and are powered by a 7.5kW two pole motor. They feature a high capacity open style impeller that will handle sand and solids to 23mm.

BUILT TO LAST IN HARSH ENVIRONMENTS The big difference with Tsurumi’s SFQ series is their unique stator housings which are cast and machined 316 stainless steel, meaning they last longer. Casings, impellers and suction covers are also cast 316 stainless steel. The grade of stainless steel used has a higher content of carbon for strength, as well as a high proportion of nickel and molybdenum for improved corrosion resistance. No welds are required, which means no pitting and reduced oxidisation. This material is also capable of withstanding abrasive liquids. On the Northern Beaches, the council also fits anodes to prevent electrolysis which occurs when two dissimilar metals come into contact. These are replaced annually as part of the council’s winter maintenance routine. Tsurumi incorporate a number of features that enhance the life expectancy of the pump and cut maintenance costs. These include a unique anti-wicking cable gland, which UTILITY • MAY 2019

prevents water from wicking down inside the cable. The motor is protected even if the cable is damaged or the end accidentally immersed. All Tsurumi pumps have a double silicon carbide mechanical seal. Both seal surfaces are submerged in an oil chamber, well away from the pumped liquid. A patented oil lifter ensures the mechanical seal faces are always lubricated and cooled, even if the pump is installed horizontally. Tsurumi Pump developed the product range in response to requirements in the Japanese market for super tough pumps for the chemical industry. Like all Tsurumi pumps, they are backed by a three year warranty against faulty material or workmanship. A comprehensive, free literature pack is available as well as application data, support and free advisory service from the Australian Pump Industries’ engineering team. For further information, visit www.aussiepumps.com.au or call 02 8865 3500. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

THE CHALLENGES OF CENTURY-OLD SEWER RENEWAL While modern engineers have marvelled at the efforts of the unskilled workmen who built Sydney and Melbourne’s circular brick sewers as early as the 1800s, the old pipelines require renewal using cutting-edge measures if they are to see these cities into the future.

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ne of the major problems facing the cities’ brick circular sewers today is structural deterioration. Recent experiences have seen the leading provider of repair, restoration and renewal services for deteriorated underground pipelines and pressure mains, Interflow, focusing on the renewal of these large diameter brick sewers. In many cases, whole rows of bricks have delaminated and/or fallen away from the host pipe, compromising the structural integrity of the sewer and impacting the overall operation of the system.

DINGY AND DARK Difficult spaces are par for the course when it comes to sewer renewal and can present significant issues. To prepare the lines in the sewer for renewal, it is necessary to remove silt from the line, often 300 to 500mm thick and mixed with dislodged bricks and sediments. Along with the removal of the silt, confined entry space presents challenges, including high gas levels and the risk of contaminants from years of sediment and silt buildup. A far leap from standards in the 1800s and 1900s, the atmospheric conditions require continuous monitoring and mechanical ventilation in order to enable a safe working environment. THE EXPERT SOLUTION With experience in facing these challenges, Interflow is no stranger to handling the conditions of century-old brick sewers. Using progressive methods to reinstate the sewers to their former working glory, Interflow uses an innovative approach to remove the debris. Often working with restricted time constraints due to operational requirements, a solution was recently produced which converted a remote-controlled Kanga excavator into the primary cleaning machine.

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In order to get the best possible results, the unit comes with a custom-built bucket suited to the sewer, and trained operators control the unit remotely. Silt can then be transported to the hopper in the main manhole and lifted to the surface for safe disposal. This forward-thinking approach minimises man-entry into the sewer, avoiding risk for people on-site. It also avoids manual handling through the utilisation of remote controlled units to traverse the sewer quickly and remove the silt, sediments and bricks in an efficient and safe manner. This method also means that Interflow does not need to rely on traditional jet cleaning equipment, which is less costeffective, more disruptive and less efficient given the size of the sewer and the amount of silt being removed. Interflow’s excavator system was born from extensive research and development, as well as a successful trial of the technology in 2016, with a remote-controlled excavator able to travel up to 700m down the sewer, load up a custommade bucket to capture silt and then bring it back to the exit point — all while limiting personnel entering the tunnel.

A CUSTOMISED APPROACH Interflow’s NSW/ACT General Manager, Peter Camilleri, said this method is customised and risk-focused. “Essentially, we’ve come up with a total remote-controlled system where the operator of the unit sits next to the site office with remote controls, TV screens, advanced camera set ups and lighting. The unit can be driven down the tunnel, load up to two tonnes of silt inside a custom-made bucket, and then drive back safely.” While the manual labour undertaken on the sewers in the 1800s and 1900s has seen Australia’s capital cities through almost a century of waste and growth, the progressive methods used by Interflow will ensure that the impressive structures remain sound and operational for generations to come, with no risk posed to workers or the public. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


Your trusted infrastructure renewals delivery partner since 1936 Solutions for the whole network

Condition Assessment

Wastewater Infrastructure Solutions

Stormwater Infrastructure Solutions

Road & Rail Culverts Network Maintenance

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Trenchless Installation

Water Infrastructure Solutions

Locations throughout Australia & New Zealand


SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

BUILDING A SMART WASTEWATER NETWORK

GAWLER ODOUR DETECTION SENSOR 1 (L-R): SA WATER’S TRADE WASTE SUPPORT COORDINATOR, HEATH GEORGEFF, AND TRADE WASTE SAMPLING MONITORING COORDINATOR, CHRIS JONES, AT ONE OF THE ODOUR DETECTION SENSOR LOCATIONS IN GAWLER.

To improve the services it provides its customers, SA Water has developed a custom-built analytics platform that enables it to manage real-time data from its wastewater network. SA Water is currently trialling the smart wastewater technology in order to implement predictive network management practices. 46

UTILITY • MAY 2019

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awler and Stonyfell are the two locations in SA Water’s $5 million trial of advanced smart technology, which aims to reduce the incidence and impact of sewerage network faults on its customers and the wider community. The focus in Gawler, a township north of Adelaide, is improving the management of odours, where detectable levels have been consistently above average in some areas of the town. The focus for Stonyfell is detecting sewer pipe blockages to prevent overflows, which occur in the Adelaide foothills suburb at a higher rate than other areas of the state.

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SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

By collecting and understanding network data, SA Water can improve the operation and maintenance of its assets, optimise asset life and provide more reliable services for its customers. The utility’s move to smart networks (both water and wastewater) is driven by: • Responding to customers’ demands for ever increasing service levels through the ability to predict problems before they affect customers • Minimising impacts on the community and environment of unplanned events and shifting the focus to proactive network management • Maintaining its reputation as a trusted water and wastewater services provider, and an early adopter of modern, user-friendly technological solutions • The high potential for increasing efficiency and reducing the costs of the services it provides

through mature practices for decision support using real-time information Robust technology to monitor system performance, predict maintenance needs and optimise resource management is essential for SA Water to understand and operate its wastewater system and meet the needs of customers into the future.

KEEPING ODOURS AT BAY Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) generated in wastewater networks attacks concrete, leading to accelerated deterioration of concrete mains and structures. To minimise corrosion, SA Water ventilates the wastewater network through the use of induct and educt vents constructed on wastewater mains and pump stations. This minimises moisture content in the air in the network and reduces the amount of H2S converting into sulphuric acid, in turn extending the life of the concrete wastewater assets.

However, ventilating the sewer network means H2S is released into the environment, which introduces the potential to create odours that can affect the community. These environmental levels are relatively low, however the human nose is particularly sensitive to H2S gas. Smells coming from the Gawler sewerage network will be monitored by 88 H2S detection sensors and ten weather stations, to build a better understanding of odour behaviour and dispersion, and improve proactive management of the issue over time. SA Water’s Senior Manager of Asset Management, Peter Seltsikas, said it is normal and in some cases necessary to have some odour emission, but the aim is to limit how noticeable it is for nearby residents. “Inducts deliberately draw in fresh air and educts release small amounts of foul air, both of which help to extend the life of the pipes, but for the most part, these smells shouldn’t be detectable by people in the area,” Mr Seltsikas said.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

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SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT LEVEL SENSOR STONYFELL 1 (L–R): SA WATER TRADE WASTE COMPLIANCE OFFICER, STEPHEN DIXON, MONITORING AND NETWORK OFFICER, MICHAEL HOGAN, TRADE WASTE SUPPORT COORDINATOR, HEATH GEORGEFF, AND MONITORING AND NETWORK OFFICER, LIAM DENNENY, AT THE WEATHER STATION LOCATION IN STONYFELL.

“The underground sensors in particular – which can be remotely monitored – are our eyes and ears. “The weather stations monitor climatic conditions like wind direction and speed as well as ambient air temperature, which can impact the way odours move and are experienced outside our network. “Weather is one of the reasons sewer odour is so intermittent, but if we can learn what it’s doing in near-real time, we could for example, time our network ventilation for when the community will be least impacted.” Measuring network odour across a specific catchment area enables SA Water to model odour dispersion and begin to investigate practical and innovative methods for reducing the odour. This could include flushing the wastewater network, adjusting the operation of pump stations, controlling vents to ventilate during times when odours are least likely to be detected and optimising current chemical dosing practices.

PREDICTING SEWER OVERFLOWS SA Water currently manages wastewater overflow performance through a combination of preventative and reactive approaches. The Stonyfell pilot is developing a new way to manage wastewater mains choke rate and overflow performance by predicting overflows before they occur. Mr Seltsikas said the smart technology will complement existing ongoing sewer maintenance programs by enabling a more targeted approach. “We’ve equipped Stonyfell’s sewer

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system with 88 level sensors and one flow sensor, which monitor the movement of sewage in the pipes,” Mr Seltsikas said. “This is giving us near-real time information on where a blockage is, making it easier to know where and when to send our crews to fix it, well before it can impact a customer.” By receiving, analysing and understanding the data from these sensors, SA Water aims to detect the occurrence of surcharging and predict chokes as or before they form. This enables the utility to proactively dispatch cleaning crews to investigate and clear any chokes before they result in wastewater overflows affecting customers or the environment. For SA Water, this is an innovative approach to managing its wastewater networks, which have up until now been managed through preventive maintenance, either by regularly cleaning mains or reacting to incidents after they occur. SA Water’s new predictive approach has the potential to optimise maintenance costs across the network by reducing clean-up and costs related to unnecessary maintenance of assets.

DEVELOPING INSIGHT THROUGH DATA ANALYTICS SA Water is leading real-time network tracking with its custom-built analytics platform, which brings these two trials together and enables it to better manage its wastewater network. The analytics platform analyses real-time network performance data and develops responses to system

UTILITY • MAY 2019

changes. It shows where the smart sensors are placed in the network and monitors live data from the wastewater network, as well as in the environment and community. SA Water can set and modify alarm trigger levels based on specific wastewater network parameters and then configure the response in the event that there are changes to network conditions. The two pilots in Gawler and Stonyfell are in addition to an expansion of SA Water’s smart water network to four new locations across the state – Athelstone, North Adelaide, Penneshaw and Port Lincoln – after the success of a trial in the Adelaide CBD that has prevented 35 water main breaks since going live in July 2017. “The success of the technology to date in the water space gives us confidence in achieving meaningful results in our wastewater operations,” Mr Seltsikas said. “The combination of technology across both our water and wastewater networks, a world-leading analytics platform and the expertise of our smart network team will give us a more detailed view of our underground systems than ever before, and help us continually improve our customers’ experience.” With its custom-built platform and ability to track real-time network performance, SA Water is developing a strong capability to more efficiently and effectively analyse and respond to causal factors that influence overflows and odour performance in its wastewater network.

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SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

Swift and smart sewer system

RENOVATION

A rupture to a cement-lined mild steel pipe transporting residential waste through Biggera Creek on the Gold Coast required a swift repair solution, and thanks to the innovative system used, the water main was renovated within only two days. IN JUST TWO DAYS, THE REHABILITATION OF THE SEWER RISING MAIN WITH PRIMUS LINE UNDER THE BIGGERA CREEK WAS COMPLETED.

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50m stretch of the DN600 sewer needed to be renovated and four vertical 12 degree bends were in the pipe’s route. Based on the positive experience from other successful pressure pipe rehabilitation projects, specialist trenchless contractor Interflow proposed to install the Primus Line system. Not only is Primus Line a flexible relining solution accommodating the operating pressure independently from the host pipe due to a Kevlar reinforcement, it is also able to negotiate bends of up to 45 degrees. In addition, the liner is not glued to the host pipe and hence can also be installed if water is in the host pipe. The host pipe was cleaned by high pressure cleaning. Having verified the free inside diameter, the Primus Liner DN500 was pulled in and inflated. The contractor installed reducers scaling down DN600 to DN500 before mounting the special termination fittings. The entire renovation works were completed in two days, as work could only be performed during low tide, ensuring minimal impact on the environment.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR USING PRIMUS LINE IN SEWER RISING MAINS Primus Line is designed to remain flexible in all operating conditions. Using it in sewer rising mains, like under the Biggera Creek, involves some additional design aspects. At the beginning and end of the renovated section, Primus Line connectors interlink the Primus Line system and the existing pipe. There is no free inlet and outlet in the connectors’ area, and Primus Line itself is integrated into the network with a spool piece.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

In all operating conditions, the liner itself is constantly filled with the transported fluid. Pumping it uphill can be realised with a non-return valve behind the pump and if the pipe runs downhill, technical modifications can provide a constantly filled liner. Furthermore, along the entire Primus Line section, there will be a steady or constantly increasing/decreasing pressure level. The minimum operating pressure of the system has to be 1.0 bar. The flow velocity in the entire Primus Line section is constant as well. Pipes are usually operated with up to three m/s. The inside coating of the liner can be made of polyethylene (PE) for residential wastewater applications. If industrial wastewater runs through it, a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating will be used inside, with a chemical analysis required to determine its suitability. The same is the case for industrial discharge water, but here, the operating temperature also needs to be taken into account. The Primus Line system is designed for an operating temperature of up to 50 degrees Celsius. If groundwater is seeping into the annulus space between the liner and the host pipe, a discharge pipe can be installed at the lower pit so that groundwater can pour out freely in case of maintenance. All in all, Primus Line’s singular characteristics and some particularities for its installation in sewer rising mains made it a swift and smart solution for the pipe rehabilitation under the Biggera Creek. It is one of more than 15 successful installations in Australia.

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The WTW FDO 700 IQ optical dissolved oxygen sensor is factory calibrated and does not need re-calibration on site. Very easy to install and maintain and ideal for wastewater treatment plants, this sensor has a sensor-cap that lasts for 3-5 years! The FDO 700 IQ has a unique 45deg angled sensor-cap that ensures high accuracy measurements.

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SECTION WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

When to select

A CENTRE-FLOW OR THROUGH-FLOW BAND SCREEN The last decade has seen a rise in the use of centre-flow band screen technology in municipal sewage inlet works across Australia.

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entre-flow band screens use perforated plate manufactured from either stainless steel or non metallic materials such as polypropylene. The perforations provide two dimensional screening which increases screenings capture as compared to bar type or wedgewire profiles. The centre-flow units proved their higher screenings capture at the UK WIR Test Facility, leading to increased usage of this technology in the UK, Australia, US, China and Europe. Retrofitting this technology to existing inlet works poses a number of challenges, including: • Physical constraints of the existing channels (depth and width) • Hydraulic constraints (headloss, downstream process, plant bypass weirs) • Screenings handling design An alternative to centre-flow screens is the through-flow band screen, also known as an escalator screen, which has been around longer and is also well proven – it also uses a perforated band, but it is aligned perpendicular to the flow path. Physically, these units are similar to step screens.

HYDRAULIC CONSIDERATIONS The total headloss of a centre-flow screen comprises of: • Headloss at inlet • Headloss through the screenings panel • Headloss at the two outlet channels The total headloss of a through-flow screen comprises of: • Headloss at inlet • Headloss through the screenings panel In many instances, the influence of the channel geometry can lead to headloss values where the loss through the panel itself is only a portion of the total headloss, the rest being attributable to the inlet and outlet area. In other words, in some circumstances the increased surface area of the centre-flow profile has little influence on the screen capacity. This is commonly experienced in retrofits and leads to many challenges in matching centre-flow hydraulics to an existing hydraulic profile within inlet works. Channel widths may need to be increased or changes made to the downstream water depths to accommodate centre flows.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

The headloss at the inlet to a centre flow can be significant as its inlet width can be a lot less than the channel width. The reverse applies to a through flow. For new inlet works, the integration of centre-flow hydraulics is a lot more straightforward, as the channels can be designed to fit the downstream hydraulic requirements (such as a vortex or longitude grit trap). Whilst a through-flow screen cannot match the low headloss of a step or bar type screen, it can certainly provide higher capacity than a centre flow in some instances, and in particular during retrofits of small to medium sized inlet works (i.e. 100 to 1200 LPS). When retrofitting fine band screens, designers need to consider the impact of the inlet and outlet headloss on centre-flow units and compare against a through-flow unit. It should not be assumed that the centre flow will always have the lower headloss due to the higher screening panel area. Ultimately both units provide screenings capture ratios greater than 80 per cent. Hydroflux Epco provides both centre-flow and through-flow type band screens and can provide technical advice, hydraulic data and sizing on both options.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WAT E R

SCIENCE

TECHNOLOGY


I R R I G AT I O N

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report:

key findings, recommendations and responses by Lauren 'LJ' Butler, Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

In a sunburnt land of both drought and floods, water is the life-blood of many Australian communities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and its absence and mismanagement have devastating consequences for townships, farms, tourism and the Traditional Owners of the Land. The Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission Report found that the Murray Darling Basin Plan, which endeavoured to address allocation issues in the basin, must be strengthened in several areas if it is to effectively manage water resources. 54

UTILITY â&#x20AC;˘ MAY 2019

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I R R I G AT I O N

T

he Murray-Darling river system takes in 23 rivers, supports more than four million people and stretches across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The health of the Basin has steadily declined over recent decades however, with droughts, agriculture and manufacturing having an increasing impact on water quality and supply. The Murray Darling Basin Plan (The Plan) was introduced in 2012 to deal with ongoing issues surrounding water sharing between irrigation and other purposes in the basin, and acts as “a strategy for managing water resources in the Basin through adaptive management”. However, continued water decline led to a royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan being undertaken from January 2018, with the Commissioner’s Report delivered on 29 January 2019. The investigation into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was prompted by allegations of water theft by New South Wales cotton farmers, which were brought to the attention of the general public following a televised ABC Four Corners investigation in 2017. Then premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, wanted more detailed findings on the individuals who had committed water theft and announced that the State Government would launch a royal commission. In June 2018, the Federal Government launched injunction proceedings in the High Court to prevent any Commonwealth public servants from giving evidence, including MurrayDarling Basin Authority (MDBA) staff, who are responsible for implementing the Plan. This was upheld, although the royal commission did hear from some former senior MDBA employees, including David Bell and Dr Matt Colloff. A series of mass fish kills in December 2018 and January 2019, in which hundreds of thousands of native fish died near Menindee in New South Wales, raised further questions about the management of the Murray-Darling River system by authorities. The Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission Report (The Report), delivered by Commissioner Bret Walker, is 756 pages long and makes 44 recommendations to the South Australian Government. With a total of 111 findings, the in-depth review found significant concerns with the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT Climate change According to the Report, climate change has not been adequately considered by the MDBA under the MurrayDarling Basin Plan. The Report states, “The best available scientific knowledge developed worldwide continues to point toward significant warming in the Southern Basin to 2030 and beyond, and a significant, if not catastrophic, reduction in run-off depending on global greenhouse gas emission scenarios.” In 2009, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) advised the MDBA that it should consider the recent climate of the past ten to 20 years, as well as climate change projections. The Report found that this advice was ignored by the MDBA, which UTILITY • MAY 2019

is what Commissioner Walker specifically referred to as “negligence and maladministration”. The Report confirms that it agrees with the view of the CSIRO at the time, and that limited inclusion of climate change projections was not scientifically defensible. The Commissioner also found that not taking climate change into account when setting sustainable diversion limits (SDLs) has been detrimental to the Plan’s ability to achieve the objectives set in the 2007 Water Act. Aboriginal engagement Both the Water Act 2007 and the Plan contain provisions referring to the interests of Aboriginal Australians in relation to the Basin’s water resources. However, the Report acknowledges that there is limited understanding in the wider Australian community of the importance of these water resources to their Traditional Owners. In the Report, the Commissioner acknowledged that a stronger legal platform for the role of Aboriginal Australians in managing Basin water resources is necessary, and would require an amendment of the Water Act to ensure higher standards of recognition. The Report found that meaningful consultation with Aboriginal Australians is of utmost importance, particularly given that “the overwhelming evidence of the basin’s Traditional Owners is that its waterscape is intrinsic to their cultural identity”. Water resource plans An important aspect of the Royal Commission was to investigate the progress of preparing Water Resource Plans (WRPs) for the Basin. These plans are for the purpose of achieving the SDLs, which set limits on the amount of water that can be extracted for consumptive use so that the Basin can support strong and vibrant communities, resilient industries (including food and fibre production) and a healthy environment. The Report found that one primary concern is that the WRPs do not reflect environmentally sustainable levels of take (ESLTs) determined in accordance with either the requirements of the Water Act, or the best available science. “It is a matter of lively concern that two Basin States (Victoria and New South Wales) should be perceived by the MDBA to have displayed a lack of full commitment to a process that is required by law and is so fundamental to the success of the Water Act and the Plan,” the Report states. It also found that New South Wales in particular, has suffered from staff turnover and departmental restructuring, which may have contributed to a lack of commitment to the Plan. Environmentally sustainable level of take The SDLs, under the Plan, were outlined on a ‘triple bottom line’ approach, which sought to limit the use of the Basin’s water resources in a way that would balance economic, social and environmental needs. At the time of implementation, this brought about discussion around whether this violated the requirements of the Water Act and made the Basin Plan unlawful.

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I R R I G AT I O N

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report: key findings, recommendations and responses

The Report found that there is no legislative need for a triple bottom line framework, concerning the setting of an SDL, despite the MDBA claiming otherwise. “That phrase is an inappropriate figure of speech or political slogan that the MDBA has unwisely adopted. Any optimisation of environmental, social and economic outcomes must come later,” the Report states. It also says that politics, rather than science, is what ultimately drove the setting of the Basin-wide SDL and a water recovery figure of 2750GL. “The recovery amount had to start with a two. This was not a scientific determination, but one made by senior management and the Board of the MDBA. It is an unlawful approach. It is maladministration,” the Commissioner said in the Report. Environmental watering Evidence received by the Commissioner led to one of the more positive findings of the Report. “The water recovery program and environmental watering undertaken since the introduction of the Plan has helped to improve the health of the Basin’s ecosystems,” the Report states.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

However, while the Commissioner acknowledged the positive environmental outcomes in some water resource areas, he also stated that it is still early days in a very longterm strategy. “In ecological terms, the full implications of responses to environmental watering are simply not possible to determine in the short term, and in any event require very careful expert assessment and interpretation. “In light of the independent expert evidence referred to above, the Commissioner is concerned that some reports of results by the MDBA are eliding inauspicious results in order to present a falsely positive picture.” Groundwater When it comes to groundwater, the Report suggests that there has been insufficient effort to better understand the complex hydrogeology of the Basin’s groundwater resources. This means that the true potential of this resource may not have been recognised. The Royal Commission Report found that substantive regulatory reform to address the environmental mismanagement of the Basin’s water resources has historically occurred only when severe ecological decline has made it clear that such reform is urgently required. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


The Commissioner stated that regulatory complacency over a resource that is difficult to measure, combined with a lack of investment in scientific research, has placed groundwater resources at considerable risk, which may manifest over many decades.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REPORT The 44 recommendations in the Report are made specifically to the South Australian Government. For the recommendations to be followed or adopted, the South Australian Government will need to convince the relevant Commonwealth Minister, or the other Basin State Governments and the MDBA, to take action. The Report includes recommendations for amendments to be made to the Plan so that they are lawful, as well as to the Water Act 2007. Some of the key recommendations to come out of the Royal Commission Report include: • Making environmental sustainability a higher priority • Addressing the ongoing impacts of climate change • A more scientific approach to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan • Acquiring more water for the environment by directly purchasing from farmers • Meeting the water requirements of the Basin’s 40 Aboriginal nations • Improving monitoring and compliance of Murray-Darling Basin Plan implementation • Ensuring that state governments produce competent subsidiary plans, complying with agreements to remove constraints to floodplain wetlands RESPONSES TO THE REPORT According to the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, the Report largely focuses on events, actions and decisions of previous governments; however, he says that the current South Australian Government will commit to implement the full Murray-Darling Basin Plan. “We will demand every drop of the 3200GL of environmental flow agreed by the Commonwealth and Basin States in 2012 be delivered,” Mr Marshall said. “The health of the Murray-Darling Basin is critically important, particularly to the tens of thousands of South Australians who live and work along the River Murray.” He also noted that when the Royal Commission was announced by the former state Labor government, South Australians were told that the key focus of the Commission would be to investigate allegations of water theft in the Murray-Darling Basin, but that this was “not by any means the focus of the inquiry”. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has also published a response to the final Report. Chief Executive of MDBA, Phillip Glyde, said that he rejects the key criticisms contained in the Report and denies that the MDBA is guilty of maladministration or of acting unlawfully. “On behalf of the MDBA, I reject those conclusions in the strongest possible terms. We haven’t broken the law,” Mr Glyde said. UTILITY • MAY 2019

I R R I G AT I O N

The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report: key findings, recommendations and responses

“In the three years I’ve been head of the MDBA, I can say the 280 staff who work with me have worked diligently and with integrity. “The accusations in relation to acting unlawfully appear to stem from a difference in opinion about the policy intent of this critically important water reform. The Commissioner has one view, and the Commonwealth has another. “There are no findings of direct misconduct or illegality directed at any single person. If anyone has information, I urge them to contact authorities, or the Public Service Commissioner. As a result, I believe that to bring into question the work of the Authority and its staff on this basis cannot be justified.” He also noted that while Commissioner Walker has called for an overhaul of the Plan, there is not a call for the Plan to be abandoned. “The findings of maladministration relate to the work of the Authority in setting Sustainable Diversion Limits, that is the amount of water that may be used by communities and agriculture,” Mr Glyde said. “Those decisions were made at the time the Plan was legislated and received bipartisan support, and the support of five state and territory governments. The figures were based on best available science and scientific advice. “The Plan is a world-class policy that will take 12 years to fully implement, and aims to share the limited water resources in the Basin fairly between all interests - the environment, agriculture, industry, Aboriginal communities and the 2.6 million people who live in its towns and communities.” Mr Glyde also rejected the accusation that the MDBA has ignored climate change and dismissed climate advice from the CSIRO. “The MDBA has always considered the impacts of climate change, and has been guided by the best possible advice from the CSIRO,” Mr Glyde said. “As the Plan was being developed, the MDBA used climate data going back 112 years, which covered the full range of the climate changes modelled by the CSIRO.” He did, however, state that the MDBA recognises that more work is needed to improve understanding of how climate change risks will affect the Basin, and that the Plan will be adapted to meet these challenges. “This Plan is a world-leading opportunity to protect our iconic rivers, and maintain our nation’s food bowl, which provides 40 per cent of Australia’s food and fibre, and to ensure the Basin’s water is managed sustainably for current and future generations. We are half-way into implementing the Plan. We can’t overturn the impacts of 100 years of water overuse in a few short years.” With the Report published and in the hands of law and policy makers, as well as the MDBA, it is now the responsibility of government to take into account the Report’s findings, and implement or reject its 44 recommendations.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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ENERGY NETWORKS

(industrial revolution) T

he University of Western Australia (UWA) is one of six universities to be selected for a national program, Industry 4.0 Testlab, that will work with industry to develop new technologies as part of the fourth industrial revolution (known as Industry 4.0). “The fourth major industrial transformation is underway and just like those before it – mechanisation via the steam engine, mass production and assembly, and the replacement of analogue by digital technology – it is disrupting how products are manufactured and businesses operate,” Professor Eric May, Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering and Director of the new Industry 4.0 Testlab, said. “Industry 4.0 refers to this current revolution that is seeing the interconnection of ‘smart’ devices across entire manufacturing and production processes, enabling the network of devices to self-diagnose errors, predict failures and maintenance issues in advance, and overall to operate continuously with minimal required human intervention.” Industry 4.0 Testlabs are a strategic initiative of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce, which was formed in 2016 with the support of the Australian Government. The Taskforce is also working in close collaboration with the German Labs Network Industrie 4.0, the key organisation driving the development and deployment of Industry 4.0 Testbeds in Germany. Located across Australia at leading research organisations in partnership with industry, Industry 4.0 Testlabs will play a central role in improving the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing industries through the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and workforce transformation. Testlabs will work with stakeholders from companies, industry and peak bodies, government, academia, professional societies and labour organisations, and the wider community to advance Industry 4.0. “The national program is designed to prepare Australian businesses to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. As part of the program, small to medium sized businesses will be given free and open access to Testlab facilities and they will also have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with world-leading research partners,” Professor May said.

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ENERGY NETWORKS

Industry 4.0 Testlabs are an Australian Government initiative aiming to showcase and promote technologies which can improve the competitiveness of Australian businesses. The University of Western Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Testlab is a state-ofthe-art facility that will contribute to development of interoperability standards that will be critical to fully unlocking these improvements.

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ENERGY NETWORKS

May the fourth (industrial revolution) be with you

“The national network will accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 skills in Australian workplaces and create an environment for businesses to grow while exploring new models and technologies.” The Industry 4.0 Testlabs will showcase technologies such as advanced automation and robotics, machine-to-machine communication and sensor technology. There are currently nine technologies integral to Industry 4.0. These are: • Big data and analytics • Autonomous robots • Simulation • Horizontal and vertical system integration • The Internet of Things (IoT) • Cybersecurity • The cloud • Additive manufacturing • Augmented reality A significant function of Industry 4.0 Testlabs will be to assist/advise small-medium enterprises (SMEs) with their digital transformation. To develop explicit knowledge and tacit understanding of digital transformation, Testlabs themselves will follow a similar digital transformation pathway as companies.

AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION Professor May said that UWA was a recipient of a significant Siemens grant to support the introduction of Industry 4.0. “As a result of the Siemens grant, UWA was invited to submit a proposal to the Australian Government Industry 4.0 Testlab Initiative. We are partnering with multiple organisations to ensure industry, education and training needs are met, with a specific focus relevant to Australia’s energy and resources sectors,” Professor May said. “The proposal led to the UWA Industry 4.0 Testlab for Energy and Resources Digital Interoperability (ERDi Testlab) receiving a grant of $1 million in funding from the Australian Government’s Industry 4.0 Testlabs for Australia Initiative which is being matched by the university and industry. “Industry 4.0 Testlabs in the national program will take advantage of their existing partnerships with industry, but they will also be engaging in outreach, hosting information and networking sessions, and creating value for small to medium sized businesses through open access. “The other five universities in the program are Swinburne University of Technology, Queensland University, University of Technology Sydney, University of Tasmania and the University of South Australia.” UWA will work with the energy and resources sector to develop and validate new technologies vital for the future. Some of the applications of these technologies include improved data collection and analytics to find faults more quickly, avoiding downtime for businesses.

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ENSURING TECHNOLOGIES ARE INDUSTRY-READY The UWA ERDi Testlab will provide the validation platform to test for Industry 4.0 commercial readiness in open process control systems using international standards. The Testlab will specialise in Industry 4.0 interoperability standards from standards definition, research and development, testing of interoperable components and architectures, education and compliance testing. It will enable organisations of any scale to: • Validate their technology readiness for an Industry 4.0 environment • Develop and improve their technology and architecture • Overcome technical problems • Lower technology risks • Increase technology adoption “Most large industries are held captive by large, single software platforms that become increasingly costly with age. With these out-of-date software platforms, there are few opportunities for information transfer from one device to another. Enabling systems to ‘talk’ to one another despite their software type and software age is a big step forward,” Professor May said. “In addition to this improvement in software ‘communication’, there is also the ability to improve the connections between processes. Often one process is developed in isolation, then another process is developed in the organisation, after some time, there are lots of processes but they are not connected together seamlessly. Industry 4.0 standards can support the interconnection of processes. “The energy and resource sector faces challenges with hardware and software that currently cannot work together. The development of standards that ensure the hardware and software can interoperate will help prevent major problems as Industry 4.0 technologies are deployed in Australia. “The UWA ERDi Testlab will support organisations in the energy and resources sector with their technology validation and their digital interoperability capability (their ability to work with other software systems). Any organisation will be able to test and validate that their equipment and software can support interoperability, which reduces the barriers for different pieces of software to work together.” The UWA Testlab will be designed to integrate directly with the South Metropolitan TAFE Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) Facility, the proposed LNG Futures Facility that will receive $10 million funding from the Western Australian Government over the next ten years, and with data feeds from mine sites and gas processing facilities. This will ensure the technologies developed and validated at the Testlab are industry-ready. The UWA Testlab will be operational in the second half of 2019. Any organisation interested in the developments should register on the ERDi Testlab website at https:// erditestlab.com/contact.

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Smart Grid Automation

WAGO RTU 750XTR: Flexible. Reliable. Powerful.

CASE STUDY - WAGO TECHNOLOGY INCREASES EFFICIENCY IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT

Advantages with WAGO’s Telecontrol Solution: Communication via telecontrol protocols per DNP3, IEC 60870-5-101/-103/-104, 61400-25, 61850-7-420, MODBUS Separate ETHERNET interfaces permit the creation of parallel networks Cybersecurity: Encryption that follows Europe’s most stringent energy and security guidelines per BDEW and BSI Built in web server provides local visualization possibility for monitoring and control with any IP attached device Cloud connectivity: Connection to any cloud thanks to an MQTT Native communication Hardened operating system & password-protected web-based management prevents unauthorized users from changing system settings

Using the WAGO Telecontrol RTUs you can develop a controller module that gives operators of wastewater treatment plants needbased control of the blowers in their aeration tanks depending on the degree of contamination in the wastewater. This type of control saves electricity, lowers the nitrogen concentration in the discharge and increases operational reliability. Practical experience shows that in many cases, plant operators can recoup the investment through the waiver of the wastewater discharge fees alone.

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WAGO Telecontrol RTUs provide an all-in-one Modular Solution for Measurement, Regulation, Control and Telecontrol. IEC60870

D N P3

IEC61400

eXTReme Size eXTReme Isolation eXTReme Vibration eXTReme Temperature ... up to 5x smaller ... up to 5kV impulse ... up to 5G acceleration ... from -40 °C to + 70 °C

DNP3

0 185 MS 6 C E I M SE / GOO Ozwater’19 - Stand #H40 sales.anz@wago.com | (03) 8791 6300 | www.wago.com.au WAGO is a registered trademark of WAGO Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH.

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Going underground:

RELOCATING CIRCUITS UNDER MELBOURNE’S BUSIEST ROAD Projects involving critical infrastructure require expert project management to deliver high-quality results and to minimise risk and inconvenience to workers and the general public. The relocation of several existing 66kV sub-transmission circuits on the West Gate Tunnel Project in Melbourne was no exception, with more than 200,000 vehicles relying on the West Gate Bridge each day and disruptions creating delays across Melbourne’s greater road network.

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he West Gate Tunnel Project is a partnership between the Victorian Government and Transurban, and is being built by construction contractors CPB Contractors and John Holland Joint Venture (CPBJH JV). The city-shaping project is delivering a vital alternative to Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, removing thousands of trucks from residential streets. With the West Gate Tunnel Project expected to end Melbourne’s reliance on the West Gate Bridge by building new tunnels and links, a number of existing 66kV subtransmission circuits are being moved underground.

MINIMISING DISRUPTION WITH EXPERT OPERATIONS Daly’s Constructions (Australia) has been engaged by CPBJH JV to complete the 66kV underground relocation works on behalf of Jemena and Powercor. The scope of works includes: • 2700m of dual, triple and quad circuit trenching • Drilling ten 450mm diameter bores, including four bores underneath the West Gate Freeway • 27,000m of conduit installation with flowable thermal backfill

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Construction of four reinforced concrete joint bays up to 12m long by 6m wide, including temporary works design • Installation of 21,210m of 66kV 1600mm2 single core copper XLPE cable • Three 66kV straight joints and six 66kV cable head terminations • Temporary works design to mitigate impacts to existing oil filled cables • Bespoke scaffold design and installation around 66kV cable head poles The works commenced on site in April 2018 and Daly’s scope is forecast to be completed by June 2019. The project is being delivered on a tight schedule, requiring multiple civil crews, cable hauling crews, as well as jointing and terminating crews, all of which must work concurrently. Whilst this can present on-site challenges, Daly’s Constructions is using effective planning and a collaborative approach to execute the works, engaging with personnel

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Utility Partner Solutions

from CPBJH, Powercor and Jemena. According to the company’s Director, Mark Daly, weekly progress meetings and open communication ensures that all stakeholders are informed and that critical interfaces with other project works are well managed.

ABOUT DALY’S CONSTRUCTIONS Daly is a family owned business that commenced in 1971 when Gabe and Mary Daly established the company to install cables in new estates throughout growing metropolitan Melbourne. Today, Daly’s Constructions provides design, civil works, cable installation, cable jointing and terminating services to the energy infrastructure industry across Australia and New Zealand, specialising in major sub-transmission and transmission underground works. For more information on Daly’s Constructions, visit www.daly.net.au/constructions/about-us.

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Creating new, connected

consumer experiences IN THE AUSTRALIAN ENERGY SECTOR by Simon Vardy, Accenture’s utilities lead for Australia and New Zealand

With energy a front-page issue in Australia for years, being wrapped up in public policy debate, consumer trust in the industry has never been lower.

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n fact, the Australian Energy Market Commission found that only 37 per cent of consumers trusted the industry, with most surveyed believing the energy retailers were not working in their long-term interests. To combat this, a new Energy Charter has been introduced in Australia as a world-first initiative to improve industry behaviour. Twenty Australian energy businesses have joined the Charter as a commitment to improve accountability and restore consumer trust. Additionally, the upcoming Consumer Data Right will be applied to the energy sector, allowing consumers to more easily compare and swap providers, amongst other benefits. These moves are all taking steps to put power back in the hands of customers. So, what steps can be taken for energy retailers to regain trust and promote loyalty? While energy retail typically accounts for about 10 per cent of total industry revenue, Accenture predicts by 2030 it will rise to about 25 per cent through the introduction of new revenue opportunities. To earn trust back from Australian consumers, an improved and engaged customer experience should be a priority. Accenture’s New Energy Consumer research has found that transforming customer experience (CX) is at the heart of value creation for energy retailers. The research found that when it comes to delivering an engaging customer experience, most traditional energy retail utilities lag behind disruptor brands, in both new energy-market entrants and service providers from other industries’.

UNDERSTANDING AND IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Over time, the energy value chain has become decentralised, digital and fragmented. Analysis from Accenture suggests that much of future growth

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ENERGY NETWORKS

from energy retailers will result from new products and services, such as electric vehicle products and services to connected building services. To accommodate the availability of increasing products and services, energy retailers must prioritise a more vibrant and connected customer experience. Creating a connected energy experience involves digitallyenabled products and services and going beyond the commodity. These experiences are supported by insightdriven, hyper-relevant interactions. Generally speaking, being 'helpful', ensuring an experience is intuitive, clear and easy to understand, is particularly important to customer experience. Among traditional energy retail utilities, competitive brands were less loved than non-competitive ones across all but one key moment: receiving proactive communications from their provider. Proactive engagement is a key factor in generating a positive customer experience. The Accenture study found that 'helpfulness' is the top driver of all three business outcomes of staying, recommending and being satisfied across key moments of interaction. The study found the largest gaps in customer service for energy retailers were observed during moments of sign up — including initiating basic energy services or adding a new product or service.

PRIORITISE IMPROVEMENT WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Many energy retailers are struggling with generating growth or competitive advantage through current investments, and it’s proving tricky for retailers to track and analyse the impact of these investments over time. For most, the current state of existing operations continues to be a barrier to both entering new markets and achieving higher levels of customer experience. There is also an added complexity as consumer expectations are changing more quickly than energy retailers can address them.

When faced with evolving customer expectations, particularly impacted by digital technology, traditional energy retail utilities need to take action to boost customer relevance by adopting new customer-centric capabilities. Energy retailers can exceed customer expectations through initiatives such as digital marketing, targeted product offerings, insight-driven interactions and AI-enabled customer care, all to allow for a more satisfying experience for consumers that meets current digital expectations. Energy retailers must leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to enable intelligent services and differentiate CX by providing relevant digital support. In addition to reducing operational costs, AI offers enormous benefits to help improve customer satisfaction as an ideal tool to eliminate channel noise, improve service consistency, simplify processes and allow agents to focus on more strategic interactions. AI can also personalise the customer experience. Personalised services are more in demand than ever before – according to research from Accenture, nearly 30 per cent of customers surveyed now expect companies with which they engage to know more about them. The good news is that a significant segment of consumers are willing to share personal information if they receive something in return. Energy retailers can succeed in personalisation by making services hyper-relevant through a variety of tools and techniques. This could include proactive alerts and auto adjustments of inhome technologies and personalised subscription services.

TARGET FOR VALUE AND TARGET FOR GROWTH Beyond implementing digital to achieve customer satisfaction, there are several key transformational levers that can set energy retail utilities on a course to sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

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In addition to improving the customer experience to drive growth, earning consumer trust also emerges as a key element for success. Without trust, consumers will not be compelled by sophisticated and targeted marketing campaigns. Consumers have become increasingly discerning, meaning energy providers can no longer benefit from cross-selling and upselling opportunities — such as gas or maintenance services or into connected energy services — that can increase the revenue per user. Instead, the best approach for energy retailers to achieve value and growth is by identifying more potential value in existing products and services and pursue it in new ones. Energy providers must be strategic by recalibrating business portfolios that specifically target new customer preferences and opportunities around digital interactions, as well as offering new products and services. Understanding and improving customer experience is at the heart of value creation for the current energy market. Australian energy providers must plan their customer experience recognising that future growth will be driven through new energy retail products and services, and new ways of delivering value to consumers. As consumer expectations for digital and personalised services steadily evolve, no energy retail utility will be all things to all customers — nor should they. Accenture’s research suggests that a more focused approach to customer experience, engagement and retention will be key to delivering new returns. By focusing on the experience, energy retail utilities in Australia can exceed customer demands, and make every customer interaction an opportunity to deliver a connected energy interaction that goes beyond the commodity. Ultimately, energy retailers can restore their trust by becoming valued providers and true partners in delivering what a customer wants.

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Utility Partner Solutions

Connecting the dots ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Any utility that is not focused on delivering a superior digital experience for customers is bound to come unstuck in the near future – but providing that seamless experience is challenging when business systems do not support it. Sam Underdown, South Australia State Manager for Squiz, shares his thoughts on how utilities can overcome internal complexity to redesign the customer experience.

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volution is certainly vital to the longevity of any successful organisation; however, the unfortunate by-product can be a mess of disparate and often incompatible technology systems. Utility providers are not alone in this challenge, and often new software, apps, programs and digital divisions are added as needs arise and possibilities present. Organic growth leads to an unwieldy tech stack where vital information sets become increasingly siloed. It is at this point that customer experience starts to reflect the company structure rather than people’s needs. Customers grow more frustrated with the disjointed experience and opportunities to innovate are missed. Eventually, it seems like the only solution is to rip and replace standalone legacy systems with new ones. An expensive, and in many cases near impossible, task to be faced with.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR UTILITIES? For utility providers, this tangled web of technologies and processes that aren’t aligned or connected makes the journey to becoming a ‘digital utility’ even more challenging – yet the numbers speak for themselves. 1

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McKinsey & Company estimates that utility providers can boost profitability by 20 to 30 per cent simply through digital optimisation, with the majority of savings coming from backoffice automation, digital productivity tools for employees, smart meters and the smart grid.1 As utility and service providers face the triple threat of customer dissatisfaction, disruption from new entrants and pressure to deliver more value, there is little time to waste. So how can customers and employees be shielded from this internal bureaucracy and be delivered a modern, intuitive omni-channel experience that lives up to their expectations?

JOIN THE DOTS WITH A DIGITAL EXPERIENCE PLATFORM What is really needed is a kind of interpreter to bridge the gap between back-end systems and what customers and employees experience whenever they log-on to a website, customer portal or mobile app. An intelligent digital experience platform works silently in the background to provide this layer. It draws in data from across a business, allowing it to be repurposed in new ways that provide value for customers and employees. With this intelligent digital layer in place, you can redesign the digital experience for customers without having to replace existing systems. A NEW WAY OF THINKING Digital experience platforms provide a fresh opportunity for utilities looking to create a seamless customer experience, boost productivity and profitability. By connecting systems, existing data sources can be leveraged to create fresh customer value, deliver client services more efficiently and recognise opportunities for new revenue streams based on customer behaviour. It is time to explore how an intelligent digital experience platform can unlock value from existing systems, so you can get the most from what you already have. All you need to replace is the way you think.

McKinsey, 2016, ‘The digital utility: New opportunities and challenges’

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DEMAND MANAGEMENT

EXPLORING NON-NETWORK SOLUTIONS TO MANAGE ELECTRICITY DEMAND

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A reliable electricity network is an essential element for supporting growing areas. Parts of the inner Sydney network, which supplies electricity to more than 500,000 customers, are over 50 years old. To solve the problem of growing demand coupled with aging infrastructure, TransGrid is exploring non-network solutions to delay capital investment into costly network upgrades.

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Exploring non-network solutions to manage electricity demand

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s the network approaches the end of its serviceable life and suffers from increased demand, TransGrid’s Powering Sydney’s Future (PSF) project will reinforce the power supply. Part of the solution involves constructing a new 330kV, 20km long underground cable circuit between substations at Potts Hill and Alexandria. As this is a large and complex project, TransGrid is deferring investment into the cable construction by procuring a variety of demand management solutions to reduce the risk of unserved energy to consumers for four years. Building of the cable will begin in 2020.

THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM A major cable failure in the inner Sydney network would take around eight weeks to solve. During that time, the network would experience significant load issues during peak demand periods. Most of the load in the Sydney area is driven by the demand in the CBD, and the demand in the CBD is largely driven by air-conditioning, meaning that TransGrid’s non-network solutions will only be needed during the summer months. TransGrid’s Energy Services Manager, Rachele Williams, said the project area is very highly populated, with many customers who highly value reliability of supply, such as hospitals and universities. While the likelihood of a cable fault is statistically low, the risk increases as the cable ages, and the impact of a failure and power outage in Sydney’s CBD and surrounding suburbs would be very significant. “It’s not just about people’s lights going out, or their fridge not being on, or their air-conditioning going off. An outage in this area could be detrimental to significant pieces of infrastructure, including Parliament House, the ASX and the main operational hubs for public transport,” Ms Williams said. “There were similar instances in Auckland in New Zealand in 1997, which had a nine-figure economic impact.” SPECIAL PLANNING CRITERIA The PSF project is based in a part of Sydney that has a special planning criteria called Modified N-2, which means if you were to take away any two elements, the network would still need to be able to function. “Most of the rest of our network only has an N-1 requirement. The way that we meet the Modified N-2 requirement is that we work together with Ausgrid, the distribution network, to achieve that higher reliability requirement,” Ms Williams said. “The PSF project is looking at the future of the network in that area. There are a number of aging cables, and we would reasonably expect their condition to start to deteriorate. We need to cost-effectively ensure that the area has appropriate reliability, which is why we are targeting four years of nonnetwork solutions and installation of a 330kV cable in 2022. “If we don’t think about cost-effectiveness, we could just put six cables in, and that area could be really reliable. How do we balance not spending too much on the network, while still making sure that we don’t risk supply?

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“It’s finding a balance between not increasing customers’ bills too much, and delivering good quality power.”

TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING One of the major parts of the project involves exploring all potential non-network solutions. In order to thoroughly understand the available options, TransGrid went above and beyond the requirements of the regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T) process, which took approximately two years, to ensure they could address the issue with confidence. “Part of the RIT-T is demonstrating either a consumer benefit, such as bringing prices down, or a reliability benefit, which is what this particular project is driving at. Then we have to scope out all the things we can do to actually solve the problem,” Ms Williams said. “A large part of it is about consultation. There are three different major documents that get sent out, inviting interested parties to make submissions. If they’ve got an idea that we haven’t considered we want to hear about it, and we ran quite a few workshops and market soundings in terms of seeking information from the industry about what would be available. “We have also worked very closely with not just the regulator, but with other groups, such as Energy Consumers Australia and the Energy Users Association of Australia, to determine what would be an appropriate optionality in terms of the project. “The demand management element of the project is a very significant part of making sure that we meet community expectations around looking for other options, and doing things that are innovative and different to the way that we’ve done them before.” NON-NETWORK SOLUTIONS In October 2017, TransGrid put out an expression of interest for demand management solutions. The five key non-network initiatives being investigated are: • Energy efficiency – technology changes that can enable the use of use less energy and while still achieving the same outcome • Demand response – working with customers to reduce energy use during times of peak demand • Reliability standards – agreeing to a different level of reliability (e.g. requiring fewer electricity network assets at the risk of more outages) • Local generation – installing local generation to help supply local energy and reduce the demand on the network • Network planning – reinforcing the network by renewing the existing underground cables or installing a new underground cable into Sydney Ms Williams said TransGrid has seen a very strong response from non-network proponents in its early consultation, and there is a lot of potential for deferring the commissioning of network infrastructure through the use of non-network solutions. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


In July 2018, TransGrid opened a tender to supply 20MW for the 2018-19 summer period. “We got a very reliable, very dependable managed solution for the first block in the form of load curtailment, and what we found during the summer was that we’ve got a great building block that will support the development of our program,” Ms Williams said. “In the event that we needed to reduce demand, we have contracts in place that say run your load curtailment system to take yourself off the grid and reduce your load. “Those customers will have already installed devices so that in the event that the grid was to switch off and they were to experience an interruption to supply, they would be able to supply themselves.”

THE ROAD AHEAD After the success of the first tender, the second stage will be the release of a new tender that will seek an additional 20-40MW for summers 2020-21 and 2021-22. Prospective tenderers can find more information at https://www.tenderlink.com/transgrid/. “From here we will be going out with another tender, and that’s when we hope to be able to introduce some

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DEMAND \MANAGEMENT

Exploring non-network solutions to manage electricity demand

more innovative sources like renewable energy,” Ms Williams said. “We’ve seen some volatility in forecasts, so having a program like demand management on the ground and running gives the business much more flexibility about what it does, and means we can say we’re not leaving Sydney at risk.” After four years of demand management, TransGrid will commission an underground cable circuit between substations at Potts Hill and Alexandria. To minimise potential future disruption, the project includes installation of additional infrastructure to allow for a second cable circuit at a later stage. For the majority of the 20km cable, TransGrid will dig a trench about 3m wide by 1.2m deep and install conduits before burying them and restoring the area. The new cable circuit will mainly be installed underground with some cable bridges to cross rail lines and waterways. The proposed cable route includes work on the edge of Sydney Park near the City of Sydney Park Nursery Depot. TransGrid is continuing to work with City of Sydney to minimise impacts to the park and will confirm the final location of the route as the project progresses.

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ENERGY STO R AG E

THE TOP ENERGY STORAGE INITIATIVES DOWN UNDER Energy storage has been a hot topic over recent years, with the technological developments in battery storage considered a way to make renewable power more reliable and affordable. With an abundance of battery minerals, materials and technologies at our fingertips, Australia has an important role when it comes to developing and implementing energy storage options, and has initiated a range of exciting storage strategies and projects in various states.

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he number of battery storage projects continues to grow across the country as technologies develop and the availability, functionality and cost of many forms of energy storage technology improves. Batteries are supporting the increased uptake of renewable energy while also delivering increased reliability and security to the grid. At the end of 2018, the 100MW Hornsdale Power Reserve — famously delivered in less than 100 days in 2017 by Tesla — was still the largest in the world, and a growing number of industrial-sized batteries were completed across Australia. The benefits of utility-scale batteries were clearly demonstrated by the Hornsdale Power Reserve in 2018, which was found to have reduced frequency control ancillary services costs by up to $50 million. These cost

reductions could be even greater if the rules of the National Electricity Market are changed to support fast frequency response. In November 2018, Federal Labor announced that it will fund a Household Battery Program to support 100,000 new battery installations if it is elected in 2019. The Battery Safety Guide, developed by the Clean Energy Council with a number of other industry groups, recognises the need to safely manage this growing industry. The guide provides a minimum level of electrical safety criteria for lithium-based battery energy storage equipment. It is supported by the Clean Energy Council’s Battery Assurance Program, which provides consumers with a list of energy storage devices that meet industry best practice standards.

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It is not all about batteries though. Pumped hydro is a proven technology for storing large-scale clean energy and provides around 96 per cent of total worldwide storage capacity. Wind and solar power are predicted to dominate Australia’s energy future, which means a variety of energy storage options will be crucial in helping balance these intermittent sources of generation. The storage strategies, projects and initiatives being undertaken in Australia have been propelled by the natural resources available on our doorstep, and here we take a look at the storage developments in each state.

QUEENSLAND Queensland has seen considerable interest in the energy storage space, with a solar battery loan scheme seeing a large uptake at the end of 2018. The scheme offers household owners interest-free loans of up

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The top energy storage initiatives Down Under

to $10,000 and grants of $3000 to purchase batteries or combined solarbattery systems, with a $3000 grant also open to businesses. An impressive 1200 applications were lodged as of December 2018 for the original 1500 packages, and another 1000 packages were made available soon after. According to the Queensland Minister for Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, the scheme is about assisting Queenslanders in reducing both bills and emissions as the state looks towards a renewable future. “This response has yet again highlighted Queenslanders’ thirst for the savings and environmental benefits of renewable energy,” Dr Lynham said. The scheme could help households to save up to $400 a year, even after taking into account their interest-free loan repayments. Queensland is also home to the world’s first integrated solar pumped hydro project, the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, which is being constructed by Genex in Far-North Queensland and is considered by the State Government to be “critical infrastructure”. When complete, the hub will comprise a 50MW solar farm (known as KS1), a multi-staged 270MW integrated solar farm (K2-Solar), the 250MW hydro project (K2-Hydro) and a 150MW Stage 3 wind project (K3-Wind).

NEW SOUTH WALES New South Wales has also seen a considerable uptake of energy storage systems, with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) announcement of a $10.6 million renewable energy generation system at the Bondi pumping station. It features 6kW of solar panels, an energy management system and a temporary lithium-ion battery pack. The lithium-ion batteries will be used for a period of one year to test the energy management system before a transition to sodium-ion batteries, as the first batches of the batteries are received from industry partners in China.

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The project has been led by energy storage researchers from the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM), with the sodium-ion batteries believed to be comparable in performance to marketplace alternatives, as well as being cheaper, modular and expandable. ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said, “Part of ARENA’s role is to deliver secure and reliable electricity, and battery technology will play a major role in allowing variable renewable energy to be dispatchable.” “Thanks to the contribution of worldleading researchers from the University of Wollongong, these relatively inexpensive and reliable sodium-ion batteries aren’t too far off, potentially reducing our reliance on lithium. “We’re always excited to support significant research and development which shows promising commercialisation prospects as the novel sodium-ion technology will assist in the faster uptake of renewable and innovative storage solutions for Australia.” After two years of feasibility studies, Snowy 2.0 was officially approved by the Snowy Hydro board in December 2018 and the Federal Government in February 2019. Upon completion, the project will increase the capacity of the iconic Snowy Hydro Scheme by 2000MW and provide up to 350,000MWh of largescale energy storage to the National Electricity Market.

NORTHERN TERRITORY Energy storage systems are an important aspect of the Northern Territory Government’s target of reaching 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and as such, the governmentowned corporation Territory Generation funded an $8.3 million 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Alice Springs in late 2018. The battery is expected to provide cost-effective electricity for those living and running businesses in the Northern Territory, and is one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in the country. It’s expected that the

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investment will be paid back within an impressive four to five year period due to efficiency improvements.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA South Australia has played an integral role in Australia’s position as a global leader in energy storage, with the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery — officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve — built by Tesla in 2017. According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the battery is outperforming coal and gas generators on some key measures. South Australia’s second gridscale energy storage system, the 30MW/8MWh big battery at the Dalrymple substation on the state’s Yorke Peninsula, was installed in April 2018 and commenced operations in January 2019. The battery, which received $12 million in funding from ARENA, was developed and is owned by transmission provider ElectraNet — owners of the substation — and will be operated by AGL Energy under a long-term lease agreement. Another large-scale storage project announced in the state in 2018 included Infigen Energy’s $38 million lithiumion battery energy storage system. The 25MW/52MWh battery at Lake Bonney Wind Farm in South Australia’s south-east was supported by the State Government and ARENA. In September 2018, the green light was given to German energy storage giant Sonnen to begin assembling and manufacturing its world-leading home battery technology in Adelaide, creating around 430 manufacturing and installation jobs. The government also launched the $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund to accelerate investment in utility-scale energy storage in the state. Energy storage strategies in South Australia have also focused on home battery installation, with over 100 new batteries being installed as part of the South Australian Government’s $100 million Home Battery Scheme, and a further 500 houses in line for installation.

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As part of the scheme, participating households have access to grants of up to $6000 each. The State Government’s subsidy was matched by up to $100 million in finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will provide low-interest loans for the balance of the battery and new solar if required. SA Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said, “We’re delighted with the high level of interest shown in the Marshall Government’s Home Battery Scheme, which will save hardworking South Australians thousands of dollars on their electricity bills.” “Ultimately, this scheme will benefit all South Australians, and as more home batteries reduce total demand on the network we can look forward to lower prices for all households.”

TASMANIA In Tasmania, the Battery of the Nation project continues to inch closer to reality, with 14 sites examined by Hydro Tasmania for pumped hydro capability. The pumped hydro developments would run in conjunction with wind power, which would see water pumped uphill at times when demand is low and then released to produce electricity at peak periods. ARENA has supported the initiative with up to $5 million funding for feasibility studies, which is being matched by Hydro Tasmania. VICTORIA In March 2018, on behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA committed $25 million to two gridconnected, utility-scale batteries in Victoria, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian Government as part of its $50 million energy storage initiative. The 30MW/30MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is owned by AusNet Services and operated by EnergyAustralia. BESS has been built at AusNet Services’ Ballarat terminal substation, where it

will help deliver critical supply and grid stability and security in a constrained and congested area of the network — avoiding the need for further network investment. The second large-scale battery is the 25MW/50MWh Gannawarra battery system, which is co-located at the 60MW Gannawarra Solar Farm near Kerang. The Gannawarra battery is owned by Edify and Wirsol and was supplied by Tesla, and will also be operated by EnergyAustralia under a long-term offtake agreement.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Western Australia has a unique opportunity to become a central player in the global battery value chain, with some of the country’s most sought after energy storage resources making it possible for the state to become a leading exporter of future battery minerals and materials. In early 2019, the State Government announced the Western Australian Battery Industry Strategy, which is a collaboration between government, industry, research organisations and the community to ‘unlock’ the state’s potential in the growing storage sector. One of the strategy’s first initiatives has been the development and implementation of an investment attraction strategy. This will develop and strengthen relationships with investors and manufacturers in the global battery and electric vehicle supply chains. The next steps for the Western Australian Government include closing the current and future skill gaps in energy storage, and facilitating access to infrastructure and funding for technology. The strategy will also explore initiatives to increase the uptake of batteries, both in Australia and around the world. This could include opportunities through assembly, installation and management of energy storage systems.

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ENERGY STO R AG E

The top energy storage initiatives Down Under

State Premier, Mark McGowan, said that the unprecedented growth of the future battery industry represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the state. “Our Future Battery Industry Strategy will drive the development of the Western Australian battery materials industry that will create local jobs, contribute to skills development and economic diversification, and maximise benefits to regional communities,” Mr McGowan said. “This is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to be recognised as a world-leading producer and exporter of future battery materials, technologies and expertise, with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain.” Alongside this critical strategy, a bid has been made for a Future Batteries Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to be headquartered in Perth. The State Government will invest $5.5 million through the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and $500,000 from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation. Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “As the nation’s one-stop shop for battery materials, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, vanadium, graphite and rare earth elements, Western Australia is well-placed to host a battery industries CRC.”

THE FUTURE OF ENERGY STORAGE IN AUSTRALIA With energy storage expected to transform the ways that Australia uses energy in the future, Australian consumers will see increased access to flexible, reliable and efficient energy. The strategies and projects being undertaken in each state will allow Australians to take greater control of their power use, while improving the security and reliability of the grid.

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DIGITAL DATA PAYS OFF FOR ENERGY SAVVY

FAMILIES Giving people access to technology that would otherwise be out of their reach can be a powerful tool for change.

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ust ask the Skinners, who have made significant savings on their power bills since joining the Energy Savvy Families program. “It’s good for those who struggle with their electricity bills because it heightens your general awareness about your electricity use and helps you make some changes that work,” mother-of-five Leila Skinner said. The Energy Savvy Families program is a partnership between the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Ergon Energy Retail, Queensland Council of Social Services and CitySmart.

Since its launch in 2017, thousands of low-income families across regional Queensland have been given the tools and data they need to reduce their electricity use, including a

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digital meter, access to a home energy information portal and an educational gaming app for kids. Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said it had proved to be a powerful combination. “With a digital meter and Ergon’s HomeSmart Savvy portal at your fingertips, you can keep track of your electricity use regularly and accurately,” Dr Lynham said. “With this technology and the insights it provides, as well as practical support and advice, we’re empowering families to become more energy savvy and save money.”

BECOMING MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT For the Skinner family, making some simple changes based on what they’ve learnt has paid off big time. They live in the North Queensland city of Townsville, where the summers are long, hot and humid, and there is an average of 320 days of sunshine each year. “I have four children living with me full-time, so we have a very busy household and were really lazy when it came to electricity use before we started the program,” Ms Skinner said. “The air-conditioner would run flat chat all summer, but it’s amazing how well the fans work and the kids now walk around in the morning flipping them off. “The only thing that’s running 24/7 in our house now is the fridge. “Generally, if any appliance is not in use we turn it off. It’s become second nature.” The Skinner children have learnt some practical life lessons and had some fun with CitySmart’s Reduce Your

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$100 in summer. “Before I did the program I was paying roughly $60 a fortnight upfront for electricity and praying that was enough money to cover it,” Ms Skinner said.

Juice app. “They thought it was fantastic – we all liked the washing line game with the character Darth Dryer,” Ms Skinner said. “I’ve learnt the power of the sun is amazing, so I chose not to have a clothes dryer anymore and I’m saving a fair amount of dosh. “Now we hang absolutely everything on the clothesline and the kids help.” The family’s energy-saving behaviour is reflected in their power bill, which they have managed to reduce to an average of $50 a month when it used to be well over

UTILITY • MAY 2019

REDUCING BILL SHOCK Ergon Energy Retail’s Executive General Manager, Cheryl Hopkins, said the Energy Savvy Families program was designed to help those participant families to better balance their household budgets by giving them greater choice and control. “Knowledge is power. The combination of a digital meter and data from our HomeSmart Savvy portal reveals a lot about a household’s consumption, so customers can make more informed decisions to reduce their electricity use and set realistic budgets,” Ms Hopkins said. With access to HomeSmart Savvy on their computer, tablet or smartphone, families can review their electricity use on a daily basis in half-hour blocks. They can also see how it is tracking over the longer term with weekly, monthly and annual reports. “They can set notifications for when they are reaching the limit of the budget they have set, and monthly billing makes payments more manageable,” Ms Hopkins said. “Energy Savvy champions are also there to provide support and advice for families when they need it.” Hundreds more eligible families in Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Hervey Bay are currently benefiting from the next round of the program, which commenced in April 2019.

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Utility Partner Solutions

Taggle's proven smart water networks

ARE ROLLING OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY by Mark Halliwell, Taggle Systems

Taggle are now accurately measuring large-scale water use and leakage in real time, thanks to the widespread implementation of smart water meters.

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s of March 2019, 140,000 Taggle-enabled smart water meters have been sending hourly meter reads to 34 regional councils and water utilities throughout Australia. Taggle has another 55,000 meters being rolled out shortly and many other projects in the pipeline, and it is anticipating that by the end of 2019 there will be at least 200,000 smart water meters in use. Some 104,000 of these meters send data to the MiWater meter data management and analytics system that was recently acquired by Taggle from Mackay Regional Council, with the rest talking to in-house analytical systems. The 1.42 billion meter reads Taggle delivered in 2018 provide large-scale insights for better water network management, resulting in significant savings for utilities and customers. In the 12 months commencing February 2018, the 104,000 meters connected to MiWater measured a total of 59.85GL of water and identified 6.01GL of customer side leaks – a total of 10.04 per cent. Taggle's council and utility customers also reported similar savings within their water networks, indicating almost 20 per cent of all potable water in Australia could be lost in leaks. In that same period, 14,345 leak notices were sent to customers via SMS, email and letter, representing 13.84 per cent of the 104,000 households. This supports the

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experience of long-time Taggle customers like Mackay Regional Council which has been able to reduce per capita water usage by almost 15 per cent due to a reduction in leaks, as well as changed customer behaviour.

SMART WATER NETWORKS TO SAFEGUARD AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE According to the Bureau of Meteorology, urban water utilities produced 3675.7GL of potable water in 2017–2018. If a 15 per cent reduction in water use could be achieved, it would save 551GL per annum — that is greater than the amount of water in Sydney Harbour — significantly reducing the energy required for pumping and desalination. For example, if the amount of desalinated water was reduced by 50GL it could save 150 million kWh of electricity per annum, when costing $45 million at 30c per kWh, and eliminate 66,000 tons of CO2. There are many other benefits that come from smart water management - more accurate billing, fewer disputes, eliminating bill shock, improved planning, not to mention the many other applications of IoT technology, including sewer system monitoring to reduce overflows, storm and weather management, irrigation control and overall network management. In a time of climate change and drought, the environmental benefits of water and power savings alone are significant. With ten years of water monitoring experience you can trust Taggle to deliver your data. For more information, visit www.taggle.com.au or call +61 2 8999 1919.

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MOBILITY

MAKING REAL-TIME

ASSET MANAGEMENT

A project to streamline data flow and capture has allowed Unitywater to establish a central location for asset information, accessible in real-time by staff across the organisation.

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he Mobile Field Office is a cloud-based application that has been fully integrated into Unitywaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s systems since July 2017. Its users include field staff and supervisors, Network Control Room, Contact Centre and asset managers. Unitywater provides water and sewerage services to the Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions of South East Queensland. Its 5223 square kilometre service

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area includes around 6000km of water mains and 5800km of sewerage mains servicing 765,000 residents. In 2018, Unitywater field crews attended to 27,544 customer-initiated work orders across 26,516 assets. The utility has used IBM Maximo as its Enterprise Asset Management System since the business was created in 2010. This platform was recognised in August 2017 by Gartner as best in breed. However, a series of earlier customisations WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


MOBILITY

A REALITY meant complex on-premises infrastructure was costly to maintain and business systems were separate to, or poorly integrated with, Maximo. Unitywater Acting Executive Manager Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, Amanda Creevey, said workers previously had to contend with out-of-date information. “Our people responsible for maintaining our water and sewerage networks faced real challenges as they were required to use multiple disparate systems to do even the simplest of tasks,” Ms Creevey said. “For example, they couldn’t access asconstructed information or work history. They could access a mapping system, but it was a point-in-time representation of the network and the information could have been up to a year old.” Ms Creevey said ICT staff had to contend with managing and maintaining multiple products which required field crews to attend the office for troubleshooting and upgrades. Migrating the business to cloud-based solutions has increased efficiency and reduced costs.

RETHINKING BUSINESS PROCESSES AND DATA MANAGEMENT The Mobile Field Office Project addressed the limitations of Unitywater’s system by completely rethinking it. The project carefully examined and addressed in detail all field work and business processes before streamlining and simplifying how the Network Operations Team identified and prioritised work, and how work was dispatched to the field. The project also streamlined how the field crews collected data and accessed corporate systems and data relevant to the job at hand, and how back office teams such as Asset Management, Water Quality and Customer Service analysed data, reported data and informed customers of job progress. “The reappraisal of work and business processes removed complex integrations and data duplication,” Ms Creevey said. “It made way for the integration of disparate business processes into one work management process.” With a clear plan for revised processes and data management, the project team removed all earlier customisations of Maximo and added the user interface EZMaxMobile. Additional integrations with ESRI ArcGIS (enterprise mapping) and Objective ECM (drawing

management) complemented the core capabilities of EZMaxMobile. Adding tailored risk assessment capabilities ensured one system was sufficient to fully support workers in the field. This approach enabled more of the core capabilities of IBM Maximo by simplifying the user interface and adopting a structured approach to guide the field user through the job. It simplified the data collection process and ensured structured data was available in real time for users across the business to analyse and monitor. “The project successfully removed the barriers to operational efficiency and took the brake off innovation and further enhancement,” Ms Creevey said. “It has enabled data-driven decision making across the organisation, allowing the asset management team to better focus their investment in renewals and to target key assets for maintenance optimisation.”

PAVING THE WAY FOR FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS The Mobile Field Office project was delivered in partnership with Clarita, an IBM partner and EzMaxMobile Australian distributor, and as such provides a cost-effective and sustainable foundation for Unitywater’s digital utility future. The costs of maintaining the software are significantly lower than previous. Savings were achieved in hosting costs, licence costs and storage costs as over 500,000 duplicate records were removed from corporate systems. “After we released the Mobile Field Office, around 180 suggestions were received from staff through our Brightidea portal, an online innovation and ideas platform,” Ms Creevey said. “Many of these were incorporated in our August 2018 Asset Management Information System (AMIS) Optimisation Roadmap, which provides a framework to guide asset management system enhancement and investment over the next three years in alignment with our Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) and Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP). “We’re really proud of our achievements to date and are now embarking on the next round of system enhancements. “These are aimed at delivering a better business through increased use of automation, integration with SCADA and IoT devices, and embracing the digital twin concept to visualise our assets in real time. “The Mobile Field Office has significantly enhanced our ability to collect and generate data, and our goal is to be able to predict the maintenance needs of our assets and understand asset health in real time by 2021. By understanding our networks better, we can use this information to deliver a better service to our customers.”

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THE ICURVE Utility Partner Solutions

Research conducted by YouGov, a global market research and data company, has explored the current state of last-mile delivery of goods and services, highlighting the stresses and concerns consumers have as a result of online deliveries and field technician appointments. Shockingly, nearly one in ten consumers are too scared to use the toilet when waiting for a delivery, for fear of missing it.

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he research revealed, for the first time, ‘The ICurve’ – a detailed graph mapping modern consumer demand against their busy lives. The ICurve is conclusive evidence of the Individual Economy, or Iconomy, which describes how service providers, retailers and individuals demand personalised services and will reject those unable to meet their expectations. However, the report also revealed the darker ramifications of current delivery practices, specifically the effects deliveries have on consumers’ work-life balance and mental wellbeing. More than 30 per cent of respondents who work full or part-time had to take official leave to wait for a delivery. Moreover, more than one in five said it cost them money as they could not go to work due to a service or parcel delivery. With over 80 per cent of the Australian population currently in full or part-time employment, having flexibility is becoming increasingly important. Overall, this year’s research revealed 71 per cent of respondents cited physical and emotional disturbance around delivery appointments. Forty per cent of respondents felt stress and anxiety whilst they waited for a service or parcel delivery, 13 per cent were forced to cancel social plans, eleven per cent experienced disrupted sleep and 7 per cent felt uncomfortable using the toilet. Commenting on the ICurve report findings, leading TV Psychologist, Emma Kenny, said, “Home delivery of goods and services combine all the top stress triggers. Missing out on social engagements and potentially risking medical issues, by avoiding the call of nature, are symptoms of modern life being less healthy than many who enjoy the benefits of personal technology may realise.”

According to the report, based on a statistically representative 2000 respondents across the UK, 75 per cent of overall respondents are available for delivery availability between 5am until 10pm. This extended window for deliveries is in contrast with the set up for typical delivery firms who typically operate between 7.30am and 7.30pm, a twelve hour window which still therefore misses out on 42 per cent of shopper-acceptable delivery times. Not all delivery times are equal. Over half of those polled, 53 per cent want specific delivery slots which are the least disruptive to their personal life and 30 per cent want those least disruptive to the worklife. The resulting ICurve, of preferred delivery slots, differs greatly by individual. Respondents aged 25-55 prefer deliveries between 6 - 8pm in the evening, whereas respondents aged 55+ prefer goods and services delivered between 6 - 11am. The ICurve itself varies not just by age, but also gender, type of service, geography, family size and working status. For instance, 65 per cent of respondents who work full-time prefer delivery services between 6 - 8pm, meaning for this typically busy, and high-spending, demographic, most existing delivery services do not work. Localz, experts in location and mobile technology, work with logistics, retail and field services to build solutions that meet the needs of the Iconomy. Automated, real-time messages enable customers to see their technician en-route, and simple-to-use apps help technicians manage their jobs and locate colleagues. The field and office team have real-time visibility of customer location and proximity of technicians. For more information, visit localz.com or contact hello@localz.com.

Source: AI Group, Economic Research, June 2018

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MOBILITY

F

rom Kalbarri in the north, Albany to the south and Kalgoorlie to the east, Western Power safely and efficiently operates and maintains 101,097km of powerlines for its customers. The network is the size of the United Kingdom, but supported by just one million customers, so Western Power is consistently evolving and adopting new technologies to support efficient operation of the network. Western Power has used mobile technology to support fault response and scheduled asset inspections for a number of years – something that is typical in the utility industry. However, Western Power’s planned and scheduled work methods were labour-intensive and paper-based, requiring significant manual resources to process jobs, and collate and update data. For example, each planned job required support staff to prepare a paper pack with job instructions, work practices, maps, materials lists, photos, data sheets, commissioning sheets and permits. Multiple visits to site, lost papers and handwritten notes were just some of the challenges that made manual preparation frustrating and inaccurate. Once the job and paperwork were completed, the paper pack was scanned and manually entered into Western Power’s core asset management enterprise systems, such as Ellipse, SPIDA and GIS. This created a large data entry responsibility, and the data quality was questionable. At any time, there were approximately 25 per cent of missing datasheets that had not yet been processed, with an average six to 12 month delay for manual data entry. At one point, 4000 power poles were not registered in the system and, in some instances, crews were dispatched to replace a pole when the work had already been completed.

IMPROVED DATA MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY FMS has been progressively implemented since it was first introduced in 2016, when electronic datasheets were introduced for overhead distribution maintenance work. Western Power noticed an improvement in timeliness and asset data quality immediately and in mid 2017, the implementation was expanded to include the project driven overhead distribution asset repair and replace work. In mid 2018, the FMS system was further expanded to fully electronic work packs for all overhead distribution maintenance work, removing all back office administration for

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the collation of work documentation, pre and post job. FMS also was extended to include overhead transmission maintenance jobs and streetlight fault repair. For Western Power, the benefits of FMS have been extensive. The FMS mobile app has enabled the utility to: • Remove the paper pack by providing all of the required documentation to complete a job in the field electronically • Improve data quality by collecting and recording all asset data straight into its core systems in real time • Reduce administrative overheads by collecting and filing all field documentation and images straight into its enterprise repositories The impetus behind the FMS program was cost savings, but Western Power has seen far greater benefits. Electronic datasheets are prepopulated from stock codes, resulting in data quality within a validated range. Asset information that is captured as part of the process is inclusive of equipment register updates, including asset defect completion, and photos are sent through to all supporting enterprise systems in a timely manner. Reduced manual handling of paperwork and prepopulating data fields has resulted in data accuracy improvements and better data quality in real time. Western Power’s business processes now have the most current information to support decision making that drives critical asset strategies and funding. The greatest value, however, has been through the integration of data. Western Power has found a way to capture data at the source, once, and deliver it to all enterprise systems, improving the efficiency of business operations. Looking to the future, Western Power is planning to have additional work types available on FMS. In February 2019, the advanced metering infrastructure deployment tool will extend the use of FMS to its metering work, marking the first time FMS will be used by the utility’s contract delivery partners. From May 2019, the benefits of digitising the asset datasheets will be extended to Western Power’s fault work as well. This means, if an asset is replaced as a result of a fault, the systems will be updated overnight, which should further reduce instances of work order creation for assets that have been decommissioned. FMS has delivered more than $16 million in accrued savings to date.

UTILITY • MAY 2019

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MOBILITY

DRIVING THE

DIGITAL WORKFORCE Western Power’s Field Mobility Services (FMS) has transformed the way maintenance work is completed on the transmission and distribution networks across Western Australia’s South West Interconnected Network. UTILITY • MAY 2019

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Utility Partner Solutions

OPTIMISING YOUR IT INVESTMENT SAP is one of the largest vendors of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, with a variety of modules to manage business operations and customer relations. The SAP Australian User Group (SAUG) is an independent not-for-profit member organisation with the sole purpose of working as a strategic partner of the Australian SAP community (including SAP acquired companies - SuccessFactors, Ariba, Concur, hybris, Fieldglass and Qualtrics).

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he SAUG provides a forum for individuals and companies within the SAP community to share knowledge, network with peers and influence the direction of SAP solutions. The SAUG is the only SAP endorsed user group in Australia and represents the interests of over 5000 individuals from more than 400 companies. The SAUG offers a comprehensive schedule of events, including webinars, in addition to face-to-face events such as the National Summit and conferences in Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. Each of these events feature a significant number of SAP customers who share their experiences using SAP solutions and provide an incredible opportunity to network with other SAP users, experts, consultants and executives. The SAUG also facilitates Special Interest Groups (SIGs), led by customer members across the country that cover a wide range of topic areas including utilities, enterprise architecture, S/4HANA and more. These groups gather on a regular basis to discuss areas of common interest, exchange knowledge and raise areas of concern that can then be fed back to SAP.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SOLUTION If you use SAP solutions, or are considering implementing the software, why not join the SAP Australian User Group so you can make the most of your investment? The benefits of being a SAUG member are many, and include access to: • Discounted member rates to SAUG’s flagship event, the SAUG National Summit • Complimentary attendance at conferences in Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne (number of passes depends on membership type) • SIGs that focus on specific areas of interest • Member resource library containing past presentations, white papers and other resources • Schedule of webinars on hot topics • Opportunities for networking and professional development • Regular communications and product updates, monthly newsletters and much more

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

MATTHEW PERRY, CHAIRPERSON OF SAP AUSTRALIAN USER GROUP AND CIO AT ORORA LIMITED, OPENING A SAUG EVENT.

DISCOUNT TO THE SAUG NATIONAL SUMMIT 2019 Coming up on 26 and 27 August is the SAUG National Summit at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. This is the flagship event of the user group and is recognised as Australia’s largest and leading SAP-centric event, attracting over 650 delegates. The Summit agenda covers the most topical SAP subject matter over two days, with each of the two days of the Summit featuring seven streams, including a brand new customer experience (CX) stream offering both a technical focus (Day 1) and a line of business focus (Day 2). In addition, the agenda will feature more speakers than ever, including customers sharing their genuine real-world experiences, and subject matter experts delivering insightful presentations on the hottest topics including digital transformation, S/4HANA Migration, CX, AI and machine learning, advanced analytics, financial transformation, people engagement and optimising SAP. In the past, the Summit has featured speakers from TasNetworks, Powercor, Citipower, Energy Queensland, AGL, Sydney Water, Osaka Gas, CITIC Pacific Mining, OZ Minerals, Origin Energy, Hydro Tasmania, Jemena, SA Power Networks, AusNet Services, plus many more. The SAP Australian User Group offers a great opportunity to increase your SAP knowledge, network with other SAP customers and experts, and influence the direction of SAP solutions. We hope you can join us at an upcoming event. We are currently offering Utility magazine readers who are not members of the SAUG a 20 per cent discount* off the non-member registration rate for the SAUG National Summit 2019. Simply enter the code SAUGUM2019 when you register at www.saug.com.au. If you’d like to learn more about the SAP Australian User Group,

contact our Membership Manager, George Papadopoulos, george.papadopoulos@saug.com.au. * Conditions apply. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

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Australia's Largest Independent SAP User Community

Knowledge   |   Influence   |   Network

National Summit (26/27 Aug ) Regional Conferences Webinars & Workshops Online Resources Special Interest Groups SAUG Executive Council Off the Non-Member rego rate for the SAUG National Summit * T for Utility Readers who are not currently SAUG Members. N U enter the code SAUGUM2019 when registering on site. ID SCO *Simply Conditions Apply: This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

02 %

admin@saug.com.au

saug.com.au

+61 2 9935 4646


INSPECTION

MODERNISING GIS FOR A FULLY CONNECTED NETWORK Icon Water is currently undertaking a widespread transformation program looking to align people, process and technology within its Business Strategy. As part of this transformation, Icon Water has been modernising its Geospatial Information System (GIS). This has resulted in full connectivity established across the entirety of its networks, including flow direction across the sewer network. The innovative GIS approach has been recognised as a finalist for the 2019 Digital Utility Awards.

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con Water provides water and sewerage services to households, businesses and community organisations across the ACT and surrounding region, and operates assets worth over $2.2 billion. Its network covers dams, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, reservoirs, water and sewage pumping stations, mains, customer connections and other related infrastructure. Guided by its principles to build a safe, innovative and inclusive workplace while delivering sustainable value for the community and shareholders, Icon Water has successfully upgraded its GIS to its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environment in Amazon Web Services (AWS). This configuration provides many benefits over traditional on-premise deployments including:

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• • •

• •

Rapid deployment of applications Flexible configurations of infrastructure and services No upfront or long-term IT commitments, only pay for what you use Scalable IT infrastructure to meet peak demand Secure end-to-end environment

THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THE CONNECTED CENTRAL SYSTEM ESRI Enterprise ArcGIS has been implemented through ArcGIS for Water Standard Utility Model, Portal for ArcGIS and ArcGIS 10.4 Desktop, Server and Data Store. The combination of these technologies delivers a sustainable, long-term solution for Icon Water – key to providing the central system for asset management, customer engagement, and financial

UTILITY • MAY 2019

technologies and strategies. Specifically, Portal for ArcGIS has been developed to publish web-based maps, improving customer experience, productivity and making life easier for both field and office staff. Richard Bailey, Team Leader, Asset Information Services at Icon Water, said, “The software provides a lot more capability and flexibility to produce intuitive maps and apps that are accessible across the business. “This includes a mobile map detailing the network assets with their full attributes and this is used by 40 field staff on a daily basis to help manage their activities. Our previous mobile map solution did not show latest information and was not user-friendly,” Mr Bailey said. “The map corrections layer is great for field crews and asset inspectors

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INSPECTION

to quickly and easily record network issues and hazards as they find them, which is instantly available across the organisation, allowing updates to be carried out in the office and for other field crews to be aware of the issues.” The benefits of these applications have replaced inefficient multiple paper-based processes with automated systems. Digital data collection via web maps, 'collector' and 'Survey 123' for ArcGIS are now available to internal and external stakeholders with information captured directly into corporate systems.

THE PRACTICAL ADVANTAGES ARE ENDLESS The software has allowed for an organisation wide, inclusive solution where employees can capture and display network errors in real time. This provides a traffic light triage as these errors are processed and avoids reporting and capturing the same network errors.

Field operations have been enhanced through real-time network outage management tools leading to improved customer service and reliability, and an increased ability to identify critical customers that will be affected such as schools, hospitals and dialysis customers. “The mobile solutions also includes the ability to perform water network outage traces in the field. Previously, certain individuals who had specialised software on their desktop computer could only do this. Now the field crews on site can run the trace themselves and accurately assess the needs of the work,” Mr Bailey said. The platform has also allowed processing and publishing of drone survey footage; real-time spatial view of the network control system (SCADA); easy identification of meters providing sub-meter accuracy through GPS technology; and the capability to improve customer experience by easily making maps of Icon Water assets available to developers and builders.

UTILITY • MAY 2019

CONTINUING ON THE TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY Icon Water’s AWS deployment leveraged these benefits to deliver a cloud-based ArcGIS solution, which enables the business to more effectively manage its assets. The Portal for ArcGIS web apps and services provide a rich, intuitive mapping solution that has increased business productivity and decisionmaking. Similarly, this has increased the company’s ability to handle big data, scaling across multiple levels of volume, variety and veracity. The platform has increased time efficiencies in providing new functionalities to align with developing business needs – in some cases transitioning from six months to as little as a week. The AWS will continue to provide the scalability needed to expand across the business as more systems are integrated with the GIS to deliver Icon Water’s transformation program.

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Utility Partner Solutions

Rise of the machines:

DRONE INSPECTIONS TAKE OFF

One of the long-running challenges for utilities in managing their assets has been finding ways to easily access, survey and inspect their networks. The introduction of drone technology is providing network owners with new perspectives on their assets in unprecedented detail, and Zinfra is now offering drones as part of its asset inspection services on a routine basis.

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infra’s interest in drones began in 2017 as a response to emerging worldwide trends in the use of drones for the inspection of utility assets. Zinfra’s Group Manager, Strategic Development, Paul Cameron, said at that time, utilities were using drones for a limited range of applications, such as asset inspections and the stringing of power lines. “The widespread use of drones was still in its infancy but acceptance was growing rapidly. As a result, Zinfra explored a number of options for providing a multiple drone-based service to asset owners,” Mr Cameron said. “In 2018, Zinfra partnered with SureFact Aerial, which has expertise in the commercial use of drones and the stringent regulatory requirements of CASA. “The partnership with SureFact Aerial has been very positive and has allowed Zinfra to offer a wide range of asset inspection services to the utility industry.” Also in 2018, Zinfra began delivering on asset inspection contracts servicing United Energy and Jemena in Victoria, which included five fully qualified drone pilots.

IMPROVING ASSET MANAGEMENT Zinfra currently uses a number of tools to undertake asset inspections for its clients, including: • Truck-mounted telescopic poles with cameras • Hand-operated telescopic fibreglass poles with cameras • Small, lightweight drones for routine distribution asset inspection • Larger drones incorporating various camera options Drones can be deployed quickly and allow clear, highquality photos to be taken of assets from above, as well as being particularly useful in difficult to access areas. Zinfra pilots are trained to CASA requirements to ensure they have a good understanding of the regulations governing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) aircraft for commercial applications. Zinfra pilots also undergo regular training in the use of drones for asset inspection and attend in-house workshops, which involve pre-flight equipment checks, flight competency assessments and instruction on the use of the electronic app based flight approval system.

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UTILITY • MAY 2019

Mr Cameron said that the future will see the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically fly, inspect and detect faults in utility assets, but significant work must be done to reach that point and produce a commercial service offering. “Drones already are capable of automatic flight and trials are underway to develop AI for asset inspection. “In parallel with the development of a commercial drone service, Zinfra has undertaken a number of innovative projects with various partners to explore the potential of new drone technology, new data capture technology and new data analysis processes. “These innovative projects include: the use of long-range hybrid drones for transmission line inspections with our Chinese partner NARI; the use of multispectral cameras for the visualisation of thermal hot spots, electrical discharges, and corona effects with the University of Melbourne, and the potential for the use of AI for automatic fault detection with Swinburne University.”

A VERSATILE TOOL Initial trials are underway with TransGrid in NSW for the inspection of transmission towers, using larger drones with specific camera and data capture features to enable clear pictures to be taken of conductors and insulator hardware. “The initial trial will further demonstrate the drone asset inspection capability and provide TransGrid with a better understanding of their asset integrity,” Mr Cameron said. “The feedback from TransGrid was very positive — we couldn’t get those pictures using our normal methods of climbing the tower, it’s just not possible given the angles — and work is now underway to inspect 200 towers in the Sydney/Newcastle area. “Zinfra is looking to increase its breadth of offering and to extend the current client base to include other assets such as wind generators, solar power stations, gas pipelines and others. “We currently have interest from clients in Queensland down to Tasmania, so we expect the use of drones to only increase in the future.” For more information about Zinfra’s services, please visit www.zinfra.com.au.

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INSPECTION

SAFELY STORING MELBOURNEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MOST

valuable resource

While dam failures are rare in Australia, the catastrophic ramifications of poor management have been felt as recently as January 2019, with the collapse of the Vale Tailings Dam in Brazil and the consequent loss of hundreds of lives. Committed to mitigating risks, Melbourne Water undertakes regular inspections and tests on its dams to not only protect these key assets, but also the employees who operate them.

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elbourne Water manages ten major dams on reservoirs that have the capacity of storing 1812 billion litres of water. Each year, these dams deliver 428 billion litres of high-quality, affordable drinking water to customers and the community. The utility has a strong focus on improving and enhancing the operation of its dams to ensure their ongoing safe management and operation. To do this, Melbourne

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Water conducts risk and engineering assessments, dam surveillance and inspections, regular operational checks as well as emergency preparedness drills. It is imperative to upkeep the operations of these dams in order to mitigate the risk of dam failure. Dam failure can cause extremely severe consequences from an economic, environmental and social perspective and could potentially lead to a loss of life. Internationally, there

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INSPECTION

have been a number of high-profile dam failures and safety incidents including: • The Samarco Tailings Dam failure in Brazil which resulted in 24 fatalities in 2015 • The 2017 Oroville Dam spillway incident in California which resulted in repair costs exceeding $1 billion • The Patel Dam failure in Kenya which resulted in 47 fatalities in 2018 • The July 2018 Hydro Dam failure in Laos which resulted in more than 40 fatalities and 98 still missing • The Vale Tailings Dam collapse in January 2019, which killed hundreds of people in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais The low rate of dam failure in Australia is largely due to the strong emphasis on dam safety management principles set out by the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Guidelines. In Victoria, the ANCOLD guidelines are further underpinned by state dam safety regulations in Melbourne Water’s Statement of Obligations from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Melbourne’s ten major dams were constructed between 1857 and 1984. Given the vast timespan, the construction methods used vary due to engineering and technology enhancements. Many of Melbourne Water’s older dams have been either upgraded or are scheduled for an upgrade to reduce the safety risk and ensure safe operation continues long into the future. This upgrade program first began in the mid 1980s with the Silvan Dam, followed by the Maroondah, O’Shannassy, Yan Yean, Frankston, Toorourrong, Tarago and Greenvale Dams all receiving significant engineering remedial works to reduce risk. Future upgrades to the Upper Yarra and Cardinia Dams are planned in the coming years. A similar improvement program has also been adopted for retarding basins, which are important to mitigate the impact of flooding on Melbournians.

UTILITY • MAY 2019

MONITORING DAM INTEGRITY Melbourne Water’s personnel undertake routine dam surveillance tasks as part of a risk-based program. These tasks include visual surveillance, seepage readings, surface deformation surveys, internal embankment stress measurements and embankment and foundation pore pressure readings. Opportunities to adopt technology and automation are also being implemented as part of this surveillance program to provide real-time performance data on the integrity and operation of Melbourne Water’s major dams. Performance and surveillance data from more than 2500 individual points are routinely scrutinised and incorporated as part of the regular safety and engineering reviews. On the off chance any engineering and surveillance barriers fail, Melbourne Water has detailed dam safety emergency plans which undergo regular drills to ensure adequate warning time is available and evacuation can be coordinated with the appropriate state agencies. As part of a five-year comprehensive review of its largest dam at Thomson in July 2018, Melbourne Water conducted a function test and inspection of all key assets. The review saw the exercise of its detailed dam safety emergency plan with other emergency response agencies. A number of significant site outages, confined space entries and mechanical equipment tests took place over the course of one week including the outlet tunnel, grouting gallery and drainage adits as well as spillway underdrain inspections by CCTV, a drone inspection of the spillway chute and functional tests of the outlet valves and emergency coaster gate. These inspections and tests are not only vital for Melbourne Water to understand the condition of its assets, but they also provide its operations and assets personnel with increased confidence and familiarity with the correct operation of equipment.

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UTILITY LOCATION

Utility Partner Solutions

The

ADVANCE OF UTILITY

LOCATOR TECHNOLOGY

Contractors are faced with a number of challenges when breaking ground in urban areas. Congested underground conditions, unmarked utilities and increasingly strict regulations mean contractors need to be able to accurately locate underground assets in a timely manner. Using a utility locator such as the Vermeer Verifier G3 locator by McLaughlin will help improve safety for workers, increase productivity and ensure there will be fewer delays caused by hitting utilities. 94

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W

hen undertaking excavation works — big or small — there is always a risk of damage to underground assets and utilities located in and around the work site. If an asset is hit unexpectedly, it could result in project delays, service interruptions, costly repairs, fines and compensation costs, and in the worst case scenario, injury or death. There are many useful location services such as Dial Before You Dig that are able to provide information about what assets should be located on a particular site. But it is also a necessity to have a utility locator on site to be able to verify the existence of these assets and get the job done on time and in budget. Utility locators have come a long way in recent decades, with technology advances introducing improved frequency capabilities, power capabilities in the transmitter, and GPS options to make them more accurate than ever before. This allows contractors to quickly identify pipes, cables and other utility lines at a broad range of frequencies and depths.

DESIGNED FOR CONTRACTORS The Vermeer Verifier G3 locator by McLaughlin is designed to be user friendly, and gives contractors gain controls and mode options so settings can be easily adjusted to suit the needs of the project and ensuring signals aren’t distorted or inaccurate. It also comes with multiple antennas which are securely injection molded in

UTILITY • MAY 2019

UTILITY LOCATION

Utility Partner Solutions

place to help filter out noise, to give a clear, accurate signal and provide more accurate depth readings. Jeff Lawson, National General Manager of Sales at Vermeer, said the Verifier G3 has been designed with the same core qualities that defined the Verifier G2 product line. “It has been designed to stand up to the toughest jobsite conditions, has the most accurate push button Peak depths in the market, and comes with a three-year warranty and weather-proof guarantee,” Mr Lawson said. “The Verifier G3 comes with a number of features to increase speed and productivity, including Automatic Depth and Current Index measurements located on all screen modes to allow operators to locate on the move, and two gain control modes — semi-automatic gain for congested environments and manual gain.” Accuracy is improved with its individual and combined Peak and Null screens to provide high accuracy peak data combined with high speed null mode data simultaneously, and a new compass icon feature that quickly identifies the direction of the utility path in reference to the receiver which allows direction changes or intersections to be followed. “Like other locators in the McLaughlin product line, it has strong accurate induction locating for quick, painless verification of marks or proposed excavation sweeps without any hookup required,” Mr Lawson said. “It also has an innovative clamp design and exclusive one size fits all coil clamps that are completely waterproof.” The Verifier G3 comes with smart plug and play software that helps to reduce human error when using different line connection techniques, and to cope with the congestion of the ever-growing underground utility infrastructure, these utility locators are all packed with strong, adjustable mid-range frequencies that allow for induction, even in congested areas. “With its three year warranty, including water damage, and robust construction and rubber mounted internals, the Verifier G3 will only ever require calibration if damaged and is a great addition to the tool kit of any contractor undertaking excavation work and looking for a locator,” Mr Lawson said.

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V E G ETATI O N MA N AG EME N T

WORKING TO IMPROVE VEGETATION CLEARANCE OUTCOMES NEAR POWERLINES Vegetation and trees form a fundamental and much-loved part of our urban and rural landscapes, but also pose very significant issues for energy utilities. As such, ongoing pruning programs to minimise the risk of outages and bushfire starts caused by the interaction between trees and powerlines are a major operational expense for utilities across Australia.

S

A Power Networks, the main electricity distributor in South Australia, has undertaken a journey over 15 years to reduce ongoing clearance costs and better balance community objectives with the need to ensure reliable supply, bushfire mitigation and community safety. In the process, it has developed and transformed relationships with stakeholders, moving from an adversarial approach to one that sees a high level of collaboration to achieve best-possible outcomes. Under the Electricity Act, SA Power Networks is required to inspect and clear vegetation from around powerlines at regular intervals not exceeding three years. This vegetation management program is undertaken by contractors, who operate to specific legislated and contracted requirements. “In South Australia in the decade leading up to 2010, there was growing concern regarding tree trimming practices and the clearances required to meet legislated requirements. Customer complaints and media headlines highlighted growing anger at what was perceived as ‘butchery’,” Paul Roberts, Manager Corporate Affairs at SA Power Networks, and who as media spokesman was often defending the company’s tree trimming program, said. “For some time, we had argued that we had no choice

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but to trim trees to the very specific clearances set out in the Electricity Act. These clearances had been established in the mid-1980s after the Ash Wednesday bushfires, and were understandably focused on minimising the risk of bushfire starts from electricity infrastructure (with falling trees and tree limbs a major cause). “We recognised that the regulations were so highly prescriptive they would not be sustainable in the face of growing community desire for the protection of trees in our streetscapes. “Initially, in an attempt to reduce the number of complaints through community education, we focused on improving relationships with Councils, meeting face-to-face to explain our obligations. Councillors often received complaints and were the ones who would talk to the media about the issue.” However, it was a review of the regulations in the latter part of the last decade that allowed SA Power Networks to start talking about the opportunity to adopt a more risk-based approach to tree trimming in the metropolitan area (where bushfire risk was not a concern). “We undertook a lot of consultation and the risk-based approach was adopted in 2010. It has certainly assisted in reducing complaints,” Mr Roberts said.

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VEGETATION MANAGEMENT

DEVELOPING STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIPS Mr Roberts said SA Power Networks also recognised the value of developing much stronger relationships with Councils and other stakeholders who have an interest in vegetation trimming. “Our long-term plan has been to shift from a ‘tree trimming’ strategy to a ‘vegetation management’ strategy, and that’s been driven by our network assets team.” Steve Wachtel, Manager Network Assets, said, “SA Power Networks needed to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach, to a range of approaches that suit different regions or environments, align with risk and take the local community into account. “One of my key objectives was to reduce the cost of the vegetation program to the business, and ultimately consumers. “I also had a very strong belief that the legislation that we were working under meant that we were pruning far more trees than was necessary to achieve safety and reliability outcomes. “Over the past five years, we have been talking to, and working with, our key stakeholders on a range of initiatives to deliver improved outcomes. Alex Lewis, our Stakeholder Engagement Lead, has worked tirelessly to establish a structure for consultation on immediate improvements and long-term change.”

UTILITY • MAY 2019

This has included the establishment of two consultative groups: • Arborist Reference Group – an independent group to provide horticultural and arboricultural expertise on strategic vegetation management initiatives • Local Government Association (LGA) Working Group – a working group with the LGA and several member Councils to improve how SA Power Networks manages vegetation near powerlines “Our operational team that manages the vegetation trimming contract and our contractors, Active Tree Services (ATS), have been very much on board with the strategy,” Mr Wachtel said. According to Alex Lewis, a protocol for vegetation management near powerlines was developed in 2016 in consultation with Councils and the Local Government Association (LGA). “The protocol provides a framework for consultation between SA Power Networks and Local Government, landholders and the community. The protocol was endorsed by the LGA Board in 2016 following extensive consultation with Councils (including forums attended by representatives of most of South Australia’s 68 councils),” Ms Lewis said. “SA Power Networks has committed to reviewing the protocol with stakeholders every two years and a revised protocol will go to the LGA for endorsement by mid-2019.”

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V E G ETATI O N MA N AG EME N T

Working to improve vegetation clearance outcomes near powerlines

TREE REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT Programs for tree removal and their replacement with appropriate species are critical to developing a sustainable vegetation management plan that reduces the need for tree trimming over time. “We have undertaken a number of tree removal projects in partnership with councils and key stakeholders in recent years. The initiatives have shown the value of tree removal and replacement programs in both bushfire and non-bushfire risk areas, and targeted the removal of inappropriate trees that required ongoing clearance,” Ms Lewis said. “In 2018, in partnership with the Adelaide Hills Council, we also undertook a trial to remove saplings in the Gumeracha area, which has had significant re-growth following the Sampson Flat fires. “Much of the clearance work we are undertaking today is a result of a legacy of planting inappropriate species under powerlines. “To address this, we have conducted trials of growth retardants for reducing tree growth and clearance costs, and the potential of extending pruning cycles for existing plantings. Looking to the future,

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we have developed, with stakeholders, a list of species for planting under powerlines in non-bushfire areas for each of our state’s climate zones.

CHANGES TO THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING VEGETATION CLEARANCE The Electricity (Principles of Vegetation Clearance) Regulations 2010 is the key legislation governing vegetation clearance near powerlines in South Australia. The Regulations expire in September 2021, so SA Power Networks is exploring a number of amendments that would deliver improved outcomes to the community, improve or maintain safety outcomes and reduce costs. The amendments relate to tree removals, customer notifications, visual amenity, bushfire/non-bushfire boundaries, mapping requirements, and the species list. “During 2018, we consulted broadly on our proposed amendments, including issuing a preliminary discussion paper (June 2018); holding a series of stakeholder workshops in October 2018; and issuing a final discussion paper (December 2018),” Ms Lewis said. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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V E G ETATI O N MA N AG EME N T

Working to improve vegetation clearance outcomes near powerlines

“We found broad support for key initiatives and the next step will be formally lodging a submission with the Office of the Technical Regulator once they call for submissions on the ten-year review in mid-2019.” In 2010, the legislation was amended for metropolitan Adelaide recognising the lower level of risks associated with vegetation around low voltage (LV) powerlines. As the level of risk allows reduced clearance requirements, vegetation can be allowed to grow through LV powerlines, improving visual amenity. From mid-2019, this approach will be applied in the regional cities of Mt Gambier, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Victor Harbor and Murray Bridge, and the towns of Gawler, Goolwa and Mt Barker. As part of the ten-year review of the Regulations, SA Power Networks will investigate other areas suitable for the adoption of the ‘risk based’ approach.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND INFORMATION SA Power Networks has also developed a range of vegetation management information to improve how it engages with and informs stakeholders on its vegetation clearance program and legislative requirements. This includes the development of an animated video to help educate the public about managing the risk of trees around powerlines, starring Trev the Tree and Stan the Stobie (named after South Australia’s unique Stobie poles). But what do the utility’s stakeholders think? Kelvin Trimper AM, a member of the Arborist Reference Group and

passionate horticulturalist, said he has seen a transformation. “As a foundation member of the Arborist Reference Group, I have witnessed the transition of the group from being very anti-SA Power Networks and its approach to one which now has a proactive and positive relationship with the business,” Mr Trimper said. “Our early years were challenging as we sought to improve practices and training for those who were actually doing the tree pruning, develop protocols for vegetation management near powerlines and significantly improve communication between SA Power Networks and all stakeholders. “This has now evolved to a point where SA Power Networks and its stakeholders are conducting R&D on growth regulators, tree removal and replacement, reviewing powerline friendly species and looking to improve regulations. “What was once a confronting process has evolved into one which is founded on trust, collaboration and proactive initiatives.” For its part, SA Power Networks recognises the contribution of stakeholders. “We welcome the extensive and positive collaboration we have had over a number of years with Councils and key stakeholders to develop improved approaches to vegetation management around powerlines, and will continue to work together to improve how we manage vegetation near powerlines. The results speak for themselves,” Ms Lewis concluded.

INDUSTRY EXPERTS DELIVERING SPECIALIST TRAINING Power Safety Training is a leader in the delivery of specialist vegetation control training for the electricity supply industry in Australia. We provide training in nationally-recognised and industry-specific qualifications and units of competency as required of the electricity network providers for their vegetation control staff and contractors. • Certificate II in ESI (Powerline Vegetation Control) (UET20312) Including all ESI stream units for Groundline, EWP, Climbing, Scoping, Specialised machinery, LV switchboard rescue • Close Approach Vegetation Control (CAVC) training for qualified workers to work within safe approach distances • Chainsaw training: Beginner to Advanced • Machinery training: Chipper, mulcher and skid steer • Chemical licence training (QLD & NSW) • Provide First Aid and Provide CPR Come to our training facility in Tamworth, NSW or we can travel to you.

Contact us today for training rates and to book your next company course (individuals also welcome):

training@powersafetytraining.com.au www.powersafetytraining.com.au ph 07 3288 8800 Registered Training Organisation 45198

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VEGETATION MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

WEEDING OUT GLYPHOSATE

in vegetation management

A growing number of solar farms are a great leap forward for Australia in terms of renewable energy; however, this technology can only be effective if it has access to full sun. Long-term weed control is an important aspect of creating effective solar opportunities, and with the right management solutions, this can be achieved without the use of traditionally used chemicals such as glyphosate.

O

ne of the major problems that solar farms face is how to manage weeds without causing damage to the expensive panels. Mowing and slashing has been known to cause irreparable damage and liquid spraying and access is difficult, with the drift from liquid spray also causing problems. Glyphosate has been one of the most popular options for management of weeds for many years. Constant use of glyphosate has seen certain weeds becoming resistant to it. It is now possible to effectively manage weeds for long periods without the use of glyphosate, and the solution is made on Australian soil.

A SOLID SOLUTION Macspred Australia are manufacturers of specialist herbicides for infrastructure sites and have a unique dry granule product range which provides infrastructure maintenance teams with an easy and long-term solution to vegetation management without the need for glyphosate. Macspred granules are applied dry by applying directly to the soil. There is no need for the product to mix with water, as rainfall and soil moisture will allow movement of the product into the soil. From there, a herbicide barrier is formed and germinating weeds are controlled for several months. This tried and tested technology is based on years of research and development, and has been successfully used in forestry and industrial sites for over 25 years. With drone technology on the rise, granule herbicides are easier to spread than ever.

ADVANTAGES AND APPLICATIONS Granule herbicides offer several benefits over liquid applications and mechanical control. These include: • Simple and easy to use, with no mixing • Long-term weed control for up to 12 months with one application • Low user hazard manages WH&S risk • Provides a broad spectrum of weed control • No need for water • Drift hazards are minimised • Fast and efficient application • Ideal for hard to access areas • More economical over the whole operation compared to liquid Macspred’s team of specialists can visit sites and develop a vegetation program specific to a location, making it easy for companies to take control of their vegetation and get the most out of on-site technology such as solar panels.

For more information, contact Macspred Australia on (03) 5335 8522, or visit the website at www.macspred.com.au.

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MICROTUNNELLING

How can contractors mitigate risk on trenchless pipeline projects?

T

ime and cost are among the top driving factors of trenchless pipeline installations; they are also among the first to be blown out if something goes wrong during an installation. This is why risk mitigation is extremely important. By managing the risks that could cause a problem to a project, a contractor will have a higher chance of avoiding any problems, or being able to deal with them quickly and efficiently, so that the project remains on time and on budget. So what can contractors do to mitigate risks, and what should project managers look for in a contractor? What it comes down to is versatility. If a contractor is using a machine that can work with a wide range of ground conditions, or offer a variety of pipes and configurations, they will be able to use the right technique and materials to match a projects requirements. The main problem here is that the Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring system is the only microtunnelling system on the market that is able to provide versatility without compromising on productivity and accuracy. Here are a few ways in which versatile equipment can reduce risk on trenchless pipeline projects.

PILOT LINES The main benefit of pilot lines is that they allow the contractor to confirm ground conditions at a site before the installation begins. While geotechnical information should be provided before a project, it is not uncommon for there to be discrepancies between the information provided and the actual conditions at the site. Unlike traditional pilot microtunnelling systems which utilise the displacement method, the Vermeer AXIS uses vacuum extraction. Because vacuum

extraction cuts and extracts as it moves, there is little to no influence on the ground and any assets surrounding the installation. As well as not impacting surrounding infrastructure, this has the benefit that the microtunneller can visually inspect the ground conditions, and adapt the drilling approach to suit site conditions and reduce the chance of deviation in the installation line or other events that can affect the success of the final pipeline. Vermeer AXIS is a good performer across all ground types and it can be setup to suit whatever the ground condition is. This gives contractors the ability to determine a better setup for the machine to ensure an effective and efficient installation.

CHANGING GROUND CONDITIONS While the pilot line can provide a good idea of the prevailing ground conditions, it is only a snapshot, and especially for longer installations there is still a chance of substantial changes to ground conditions further down the line. If ground conditions change suddenly to the point that the contractor can no longer proceed with the line and a machine with a non-retractable drill is being used, there is nothing that can be done but to stop and dig up the drill head from above. This is less than ideal as extra time and costs will be required. With the Vermeer AXIS, there is a higher chance of ground changes being picked up before installation begins, and if there is a substantial change, the drill head can be retracted and changed out with no fuss so the project can remain on time and budget. CHOOSING THE PIPE Pipe diameter and material also play a role in project costs and risk minimisation. For those using a

traditional microtunnelling machine, custom size drill heads will be required to install different sized pipes. This can become expensive, especially when it is a size the contractor may not use again. The Vermeer AXIS eliminates the need for multiple sized drill heads as only one is needed to complete the pilot line. Once the pilot line is completed, it is just a matter of changing the size of the reaming tool to achieve a range of diameters, depending on the installation in question. Importantly, the cost of these reaming tools is relatively inexpensive, enabling cost-efficient installations from 300–600mm range, with up to 900mm also possible. This versatility is due to the fact that it can install pipe via either the pilot and pull back method, or the jack and ream method. With the jack ream method, when the drill head reaches the exit pit, it is replaced with a reaming tool which can be attached to the product pipe when pulling back, or in the jack back method, the pipe would effectively push the pilot line back out during the reaming process. The other benefit of the AXIS system is its combine use of a pilot line and vacuum excavation means that in self supporting ground the force on a pipe would only be the weight of the pipe itself. This means that unlike traditional microtunnelling methods, contractors using the AXIS system are able to install a wide range of pipe types — including both rigidly constructed, as well as fusible and restrained joint product pipe — based on factors such as existing ground conditions, costs, traditional preference, and matching with existing infrastructure.

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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2019

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Implementing and aligning to ISO 55000 New asset management technologies Data collection and analytics, Internet of Things, machine learning, digital engineering and Digital Twins Risk-based approach to decision making and assessing cost and risk Challenges surrounding maintenance priorities Proactive condition assessment, preventive maintenance and AI Strategic asset management plans Planning best practice New assets vs maintaining existing assets Skills of the future – future asset managers capabilities Dealing with skills shortages and workforce mobility And much more! EVENT PARTNERS

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EDITORIAL SCHEDULE Article title

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EVENT DISTRIBUTION Access Detection................................................................... 91

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

GAS PIPELINES

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

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Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2019 ������������� 103 AMS Instrumentation & Calibration........................................ 14 Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps) ���������������������������� 9 Bintech Systems..................................................................... 47

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Qenos..................................................................................... 41 Qmax Pumping Systems........................................................ 17

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia ......................................... 33 VEGA Australia........................................................................ 21

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT IRRIGATION ENERGY STORAGE

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SMART METERS MICROTUNNELLING

WAGO.................................................................................... 61 Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibitions.........IBC Xylem...................................................................................... 51 Zinfra....................................................................................... 90

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5&6 June

Promoting best practice in water management by building the knowledge, skills and networks of operators. • Listen to the experience of others through the latest “operational” technical and research based information through platform and poster presentations. • View and discuss the latest advances in technical equipment, products and services with suppliers and trade consultants. • Update their knowledge and skills through interaction with fellow water industry employees. Supported by

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UNDERGROUND UTILITY LOCATING MADE EASY

INTRODUCING THE NEW VERMEER VERIFIER G3 LOCATOR Damaging existing utilities can be costly in terms of project downtime and potentially significant fines. The new Verifier G3 underground utility locator by McLaughlin delivers durable design, the most accurate push button Peak depths in the market, plus a new combined Peak/ Null operator friendly screen. Contact your local Vermeer dealer to see one in action.

VERMEER.COM.AU | 1300 VERMEER / VermeerAustralia Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the United States and /or other countries. © 2019 Vermeer Equipment Holdings Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Overseas model shown.

Profile for Monkey Media

Utility May 2019 Digital Edition  

Improving vegetation clearance outcomes, drone inspections taking off and key findings from the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report

Utility May 2019 Digital Edition  

Improving vegetation clearance outcomes, drone inspections taking off and key findings from the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report

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