Industry Centre of Excellence for Microgrids (ICoE) Development

The IMA is currently engaged in developing an Industry Centre of Excellence for Microgrids , to be based at UWA (a founding IMA member), who will provide in-kind support for the ICoE in the form of labs and office space.

The ICoE aims to address the challenges between:

  1. distributed energy resources (DER), being essential to government policies (both Australian and international) in decarbonising energy system and being keeping electricity prices low
  2. the inherent challenges DER proliferation creates, in the form of issues with network stability, communications and reliability, by fast-tracking the technological development required for a successful high DER future.

What will the ICoE do?

The ICoE will have a number of functions and capabilities including:

  • incubating new microgrid technologies through an ‘innovation funnel’, with multiple participants from both the public and private sector, spreading and reducing investment risk
  • providing a test-bed to trial, integrate and scale new and existing technologies in UWA labs
  • promoting national and international collaboration on regulatory issues underpinning the successful deployment of DER
  • promoting, lobbying for and actively participating in the development of Australian and international standards, particularly those required installed DER to transition from passive to active in collaboration with the IMA
  • opening the doors on ‘lessons learned’ workshops for microgrid projects, allowing learnings to be shared among participants
  • publishing case-studies and “state of the market” analysis

An ICoE steering committee, which will be represented by WA State Government, the IMA, UWA and independent directors from complimentary industries, will assess project applications submitted to the ICoE, allocate the pool of early-stage funding amongst projects and make determinations on participation. ICoE participation will be underpinned by bankable IP and know-how ownership structures.

Any entity, regardless of size, will be eligible to submit a proposal to participate in the ICoE innovation funnel.

Development Status

The IMA is currently working through initial feedback provided by Energy Policy WA (EPWA) on the ICoE proposal, to ensure the ICoE optimises desired outcomes under the Western Australian Energy Transformation Strategy.

WA State Government funding is sought to cover the costs of an ICoE Project Director, research and skills funding and create a pool of early-stage project funding for the first three years of the ICoE’s operation. The IMA is currently working with its members to:

  • secure industry funding and support for the ICoE
  • identify pipeline projects for the ICoE

The IMA welcomes any feedback from members and prospective members on the proposal, and identification of potential ICoE projects.

Please contact Ann-Maree McDonald, the IMA’s GM of the ICoE and Microgrid Developments on ann-mareemcdonald@internationalmicrogrids.org or +61 412 475 206.