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Newcastle energy giant set to expand its test lab


Newcastle will soon be home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Distributed Energy Resources (DER) focused test lab. 

The facility will emulate a complete microgrid test environment, allowing for testing of solar inverters, batteries, EV chargers and smart loads including air conditioners and heat pumps. 

It will be built by Newcastle-based energy technology company SwitchDin, thanks to the NSW Government’s Jobs Plus Program. 

This is a SwitchDin team with Dr Andrew Mears, SwitchDin Founder and CEO

The new lab will be located at the group’s head office in Newcastle. 

SwitchDin is set to deliver 55 direct and 33 indirect full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs by June 2024. 

Its newest test lab joins the company’s international expansion plans to Europe and the United States by allowing the lab to replicate grid environments in these markets. 

SwitchDin COO Marc Sheldon said the state government program has afforded them the expansion. 

“The support that we received from the NSW Government Jobs Plus Program allows us to increase the size of our team in NSW,” he explained.

“This will be instrumental in supporting development work, the test lab and expanding our customer base. 

“This is a win for NSW as it positions itself as a state that is driving Australia’s clean energy transition.

“In particular, the lab will support our work using SwitchDin’s cloud orchestration platform, Stormcloud, to coordinate a diverse fleet of solar inverters, batteries, EV chargers and other flexible loads.” 

NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said Jobs Plus was unlocking the potential of home-grown businesses, as well as attracting global heavyweights to expand in our state, which would help to drive the NSW economy forward in line with our long-term economic plan. 

“These jobs will boost the state’s thriving economy, help to develop even more world-leading products, and cement NSW as Australia’s innovation capital,” he added. 

SwitchDin was founded in Newcastle in 2014. 

Its vision is to bridge the gap between energy utilities, network operators and energy end users such as households and businesses.  

Using Stormcloud, a smart, digital platform that securely connects distributed energy resources all over the grid, asset owners can connect, control and communicate with a diverse range of assets to deliver a truly flexible and responsive grid. 

SwitchDin’s customers include Ausgrid, AGL, Origin, Horizon Power, Synergy, Western Power, SA Power Networks, Yurika, and Simply Energy. 

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