Smart grid research in New Zealand - a review from the GREEN Grid research programme

Janet Stephenson, Rebecca Ford, Nirmal-Kumar Nair, Neville Watson, Alan Wood, Allan Miller

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Globally, renewable generation is growing rapidly, and the next few decades are likely to see many consumers adopting new grid-connected technologies such as electric vehicles, photovoltaics and energy management systems. However, these ‘greener’ and smarter’ changes could create significant challenges for power quality, safety and other aspects of grid management. We describe how New Zealand is an ideal research environment for combining smart grid capability with integration of high levels of renewables, as it already has around 80% renewable generation, and advanced metering infrastructure in over 62% of households. Challenges for achieving a greener, smarter grid identified in the GREEN Grid research programme include managing the increased variability in supply, especially from the growing use of wind and solar generation; the potential for power quality and congestion issues from high levels of small scale distributed generation; the need for increased frequency keeping and instantaneous reserves as variability increases; and the relatively low level of consumer engagement in demand response which could ideally assist with variability. In this paper we describe the methodology and approach used in the research programme, and note some initial findings that may help address these issues, including the benefits of geographically distributed wind farms to reduce overall wind variability; the development of a hosting capacity tool for small scale distributed generation; a proposal for new ancillary services to help manage (and cover the costs of) increased variability; and the increased use of hot water cylinders for demand response. As the research programme continues to move forward with developing mechanisms for managing a smart green grid, the findings are likely to have widespread relevance to other nations that are seeking high levels of renewable generation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1645
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue numberPart 1
Early online date1 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018


  • smart grid
  • renewable energy
  • photovoltaic (PV)
  • grid management
  • consumer behaviour


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  • Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid

    Ford, R., Stephenson, J., Miller, A., Wood, A., Nair, N., Watson, N. & Williams, J.


    Project: Projects from Previous Employment

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