Future Grid

Project Edith

Project Edith is an initiative that aims to showcase how the grid can facilitate technology and green energy solutions (like Virtual Power Plants (VPPs)) to participate in energy markets while staying within distribution network capacity limits.

Named after electrical engineering pioneer Edith Clarke, the project will demonstrate a decentralised and cost-effective way of managing network capacity in a growing two-sided market, where services are bought from distributed resources (such as rooftop solar and electric vehicles (EVs)) to deliver cleaner, cheaper and reliable energy for all consumers.

A key feature of Project Edith is that both Ausgrid and Reposit Power will aim to leverage as much of their existing systems and process as possible to set out a practical pathway for the industry to mature over time.

Project overview

Typically, customers get “static” network tariffs and connection limits, meaning that they are the same seasonally or year-round. With the rise of rooftop solar, home batteries and soon to come electric vehicles, we have opportunities to develop more active tools and services to get more value from our electricity network.

Edith aims to test how the different tools can work together in practice in a way that achieves positive outcomes and be packaged up into a simple offer for customer involved in the trial.

Edith is exploring the use of tools such as:

  • Dynamic operating limits (DOEs) that can allow customers to use more energy or export larger amounts of their rooftop solar at times when there is extra capacity on the network.
  • Dynamic network prices (DNPs) for customers who already have a retailer or aggregator managing their battery in a VPP. This would be a price structure that changes day to day based on the daily flows on the network. For instance, on a sunny mild day the import cost may be cheaper in the mid-afternoon to incentivise charging a battery or electric from the excess solar on the network, but on a warm cloudy day the cheaper period moves to the very early morning to encourage overnight charging.

The first phase of the trial will occur over 2022 and will involve sending DOEs and DNPs to Reposit Power, who is operating batteries on behalf of customers. This will demonstrate how Reposit can receive and respond to complex price signals from Ausgrid and the broader energy market while providing customers with a simple offer that provides certainty in their energy costs.

Knowledge share reports

Project Edith Overview - this report provides an overview of the tools and approaches being trial as part of Project Edith. 

Who is Edith Clarke?

Edith Clarke - EngineerEdith Clarke (1883-1959) was the first woman to graduate in the US with an engineering degree (MIT). Since she was a girl, she had wanted to be an engineer at a time when there were no female engineers. Even after obtaining her qualifications, she was not employed as an engineer by GE, but rather as a supervisor of human computers.

During this time, she invented the Clarke Calculator (a graphic calculator that helps with circuit analysis) – her biggest invention. After this, she gave GE little choice but to employ her as an engineer and in 1922, at the age of 39, became the first professionally employed female engineer in the United States.

She went on to set many firsts (including first female professor in engineering, and first to present a paper at American Institute of Electrical Engineers conference) – and she did this with little fuss. Clarke was known for saying, “There is no demand for women engineers, as such, as there are for women doctors; but there's always a demand for anyone who can do a good piece of work.”

Her research on circuit analysis set new foundations for the industry through her solutions to power system losses across the US electricity grid. To this day, she is remembered as one of the most notable women in modern science.