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Grid Integration of Renewables (ELEN90077)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeELEN90077
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject develops a foundation for pursuing electrical engineering oriented research in the area of sustainable energy systems. This subject aims to introduce the concepts behind smart grids, future low-carbon networks, sustainable electricity systems as well as the main renewable and low-carbon generation technologies. The subject will introduce students to tools and techniques so that distributed energy resources (e.g. distributed renewable generation, storage, electric vehicles, demand response, etc.) may be integrated effectively into the power system in the context of both traditional grids and future smart grids.


This subject will cover the following topics:

  • Distributed low-carbon technologies
  • Introduction to distribution networks
  • Introduction to distributed low-carbon technologies (wind energy, photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles, storage)
  • Wind Energy: impacts and challenges
  • Photovoltaic systems: impacts and challenges
  • Electric vehicles: impacts and challenges
  • Storage: impacts and challenges

Smart Distribution and Transmission Networks

  • Distributed low-carbon technologies and active network management
  • Towards Smart Grids
  • Smart grids - Transmission and Distribution perspectives
  • The role of future Distribution System Operators

Low-carbon Electricity System

  • Towards low-carbon networks (fundamentals of economic operation of power plants; CO2 emissions and renewables; fundamental economics of low-carbon grids; sustainability and smart grids)
  • Introduction to low-carbon thermal generation (nuclear, Carbon Capture and Storage, Concentrated Solar Power, biomass, etc.)
  • Renewable Energy: system level integration challenges (variability and uncertainty; capacity credit and techno-economic impact on conventional generation; inertial and frequency response, operational reserves, and flexibility)
  • Demand response and storage: operational and planning system support
  • Smart Grid solutions to low-carbon electricity system challenges: flexibility; frequency control ancillary services from renewables and distributed energy resources; new technical and commercial system architectures; integration of energy systems

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of the subject, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the importance of active distribution networks and, in general, smart grids;
  2. Describe the main characteristics and basic operation of distributed energy resources;
  3. Analyse the steady-state operation of distribution networks and power systems with low-carbon technologies;
  4. Understand the role of low-carbon technologies in future distribution networks and low-carbon electricity systems;
  5. Assess the techno-economic impact of wind power and PV generation on distribution networks and power system operation and planning;
  6. Analyse cost and benefits of different technological alternatives to support low-carbon power system operation and development;
  7. Use of power system analysis software.

Generic skills

On completion of the subject, it is expected that student will have developed the following generic skills:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution;
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large;
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • Expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, capacity to do so.

Last updated: 19 July 2019