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Power factor correction pilot

Our Power Factor Correction (PFC) pilot was delivered on behalf of the Queensland Government between 2009 and 2015. It aimed to help commercial and industrial customers use power efficiently. 

Power Factor (PF) is an indicator of the efficient use of an asset. A low PF means the asset is drawing more power from the grid than it actually uses. 

The PFC pilot reduced load at large customer premises by improving the asset PF to 0.9 or better through the introduction of new technology, primarily capacitor banks.

We worked with large customers who were financially rewarded to take part. Our aim was to reduce network peak demand, thereby negating, reducing or deferring the need for augmentation of the network.

The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, funded the Toowoomba PFC pilot. The aim was to reduce peak demand by 4.7 MVA. The project aimed to take strain off the electricity grid by developing a repeatable, non-traditional demand management process that would reduce:

  • customer electricity demand, and maintenance bills
  • greenhouse gases (network and customer)
  • electricity impacts on neighbors in large commercial or industrial areas
  • government expenditure on infrastructure.

The Toowoomba PFC pilot delivered demand savings above forecast and exceeded expectations for customer engagement. The program metrics prove the value of this demand management initiative with demand reduction of 6.27 MVA against a target of 4.7 MVA.

It has proved the economics of using PFC as an energy-saving method and a new approach to network management in Queensland.

Read more about power factor, including case studies from the power factor correction pilot.