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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Somerville

Exploring the Strategic Challenges in the Power Industry - Summer School 2024 delegate presentations

Updated: Mar 13

The API team are proud to showcase the culmination of the 2024 Summer School participants' hard work and learning in the form of their strategic project presentations.

Check out the full showcase here:

These recorded presentations are an exciting opportunity to witness the innovative ideas and solutions developed by professionals in the power sector during their time in the program.


The strategic project presentations offer a glimpse into the future of the power sector, as participants delve into key industry challenges and present their strategic approaches to overcome them.

Read the Executive Summaries from all 10 Strategic Challenges here:

Executive Summaries
Download PDF • 1.75MB

Through extensive research, analysis, and collaboration, these professionals have developed actionable plans that address real-world problems and drive positive change.

Watch the recorded presentations from each group (10 in total), who are each responding to 1 of the Strategic Challenge Questions posed by our Executive Insights speakers on the key challenges and opportunities for the Australian power sector.

You will gain insights into the latest trends, technologies, and strategies shaping the power sector. Witness firsthand how these professionals leverage their newfound knowledge and skills to develop innovative solutions that will shape the future of energy.

What are the Challenge Questions and who was in each group?


Group 1: Responding to Sean Mc Goldrick, CEO, Tasnetworks challenge question:

“Renewables, and the network to connect them into the grid, require substantially more land than thermal generators. How can engagement be improved with effected communities and groups to get their support for the building of renewables and the network expansion to connect them?”


Group Members:

  • Thiew Atem, Powerlink Queensland

  • Teshini De Silva, CitiPower Powercor

  • Victor Ho, SA Power Networks

  • Tanya Pennell, Aurecon

  • Maryam Shakeri, AEMO

Group 1 Final Report
Download PDF • 1.18MB


Group 2: Responding to Cameron Parrotte, EGM Engineering & Project Delivery, Horizon Power challenge question:

“As we increase the level of renewable asynchronous generation and storage on our power systems, there will be less synchronous generation dispatched to meet demand. This will tend to result in lower fault levels causing challenges with network protection sensitivity and grading, particularly on long rural networks and low voltage networks. What are the solutions to reliably and economically ensure distribution networks remain adequately protected as fault levels dramatically decrease?”


Group Members:

  • Ashneel Padarath, Powerlink

  • Indhran Pillay, Electranet

  • Preeti Ravindran, TasNetworks

  • Nhi Tran, Transgrid

  • Jacqueline Vitelli,  AEMO 


Group 2 Final Report
Download PDF • 632KB

Group 3: Responding to Jason Froud, EGM, People, Strategy and Social Value (Acting), Synergy challenge question:

“Customers want low or zero carbon electricity, but a common perception is that energy from solar and wind will be cheaper as there is no fuel cost, and government wishes to support customers through the transition and to cushion financial impacts.

How quickly can we transition while keeping the system stable and meeting customer expectations in terms of cost? How do we incentivise customers and providers to support new technical elements that are needed in the system such as long duration storage if the cost of electricity doesn’t reflect the cost of supply in WA?”


Group Members:

  • Alice McLaren, AEMO

  • Jak Murphy, TasNetworks

  • Liz Pattison, Yurika, Energy Queensland

  • Fatin Suhaili, Powerlink

  • Kets Vongphachan, SA Power Networks


Group 3 Final Report
Download PDF • 535KB

Group 4: Responding Donald Vaughan, Technical Director Power, Entura challenge question:

“In what ways can we collaborate as an industry to achieve the levels of renewable development we need, within the global constraints (workforce, materials, supply chains etc.) and without materially compromising on environmental impact, community impact, safety, engineering standards, system security, and plant efficiency and value to owners?”


Group Members:

  • Meghan Bibby, AEMO

  • Wei Jian Chan, Energy Queensland

  • Naisargi Chauhan, Energy Queensland

  • Craig Leknys, Horizon Power

  • Karyne Wong, Western Power

Group 4 Final Report
Download PDF • 667KB

Group 5: Responding to Jacqui Bridge, EGM Energy Futures, Powerlink Queensland  challenge question:

“The pace of change in the Australian power sector is incredible and accelerating as we respond to the imperative to support decarbonisation of the economy. We need to deliver power systems more quickly, and constantly do things in new and different ways to be faster, and within market and regulatory frameworks and project planning and approval processes that aren’t set up for rapid change. This creates the interconnected challenges of achieving increased speed with additional uncertainty and complexity, and maintaining mental health for you and your team.”


Group Members:

  • Adrian Di Pasquale, United Energy

  • Chanditha Karunanayake, Transgrid

  • Monique Meerkotter, AEMO

  • Cherry Tin Shwe, Western Power

  • Mai Tran, TasNetworks

Group 5 Final Report
Download PDF • 520KB

Group 6: Responding to Erin van Maanen, EGM Strategy, Hydro Tasmania challenge question:

“In Australia’s rapidly transforming energy market, what alternative and innovative decision-making models could energy businesses use to make robust decisions for the future, adapting to the challenges of a market that is so uncertain and forecasting error is much higher than in previous years? Explore options we can apply at multiple levels, from big, chunky strategic decisions and high value investment decisions, to system design and modelling or at the project dispatch level."


Group Members:

  • Firman Barus, Western Power

  • Louise Biddle, AEMO

  • Dragana Hele, TransGrid

  • Benjamin Logue, Endeavour Energy

  • Melissa St John, Energy Queensland

Group 6 Final Report
Download PDF • 627KB

Group 7: Responding to Nicola Falcon, Group Manager – Victorian Planning & Connections; Australian Energy Market Operator challenge question:

“How can developers, power system planners and governments better coordinate developments so that communities are not left with a spider-web of infrastructure? What compromises may be necessary? The Draft 2024 ISP indicates that, on average, about 6 GW of renewable generation will need to connect annually across the NEM to meet Australia’s emission reduction objectives. The visual impact on rural communities needs to be carefully managed, particularly the cumulative effect of wind and solar farms, connection assets, terminal stations and transmission lines.”


Group Members:

  • Xi Chen, Ausgrid

  • Hayden Graham, Energy Queensland

  • Jessica Kitchen, Western Power

  • Son Nguyen, ElectraNet

  • Amali Wickramasinghe, Endeavour Energy


Group 7 Final Report
Download PDF • 432KB


Group 8: Responding to Dr Bill Lilley, Chief Research Officer, RACE for 2030 CRC challenge question:

"How can the electricity industry better adopt more innovative systems approaches to these complex problems and how do we better link research, industry and government to deliver consumer lead solutions? Moving to a net-zero future requires multiple simultaneous actions across various levers of change. This requires a move from typically singular risk management focused choices toward strategic synergistic whole of system opportunities. Despite electrical systems being one of the most complex in the world, systems thinking and the application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are much less prevalent in our industry.”


Group Members:

  • Paula Cuervo, Western Power

  • Fiona Gannon, AEMO

  • Anya Krol, CS Energy

  • Christopher Maddocks, Endeavour Energy

  • Patrick Tinney, Horizon Power


Group 8 Final Report
Download PDF • 644KB

Group 9: Responding to Andrew Kingsmill, Executive Director, Technical Advisory Services, EnergyCo NSW challenge question:

“How can we as an industry successfully deliver the scale of storage required in the draft ISP? We know firmed renewable energy is the lowest cost energy today and for the foreseeable future (wind and solar). However in the draft 2024 ISP there are forecasts for storage that increase exponentially to 2040 across all scales and categories of storage. Risks and challenges apply for all categories of storage – from ability to orchestrate, to technology maturity and capital intensity to geotechnical variability.”


Group Members:

  • Brett Jericho, ElectraNet

  • Tara Mehr, Western Power

  • Vishnujah Ratnagopal, AEMO

  • Deepti Raval, Horizon Power

  • Kopeeswaran Vaikundan, Jemena

Group 9 Final Report
Download PDF • 749KB

Group 10: Responding to Sam Barbaro, CEO, Western Power challenge question:

“How can we continue to support the connection of rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources to accelerate the energy transition? Much of the power industry’s focus is on large scale transmission connected renewable generation and storage, however the largest renewable generator on the system is rooftop solar.”


Group Members:

  • Lindon Blakey, United Energy

  • Sally Busch, Ausgrid

  • Martin Hunt, Energy Queensland

  • Jenny Nguyen, AEMO

  • Claire Spinks, Ausgrid

Group 10 Final Report
Download PDF • 866KB

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