ARENA grant success for two Melbourne Energy Institute affiliates

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced the outcomes of their Short-Term Forecasting round.

Amongst the winners, Meridian Energy Australia and the University of Melbourne have received support to demonstrate state-of-the-art, short term forecasts at two of Meridian’s wind farms, using a combination of sophisticated measurements, mesoscale weather modelling and data science. The University brings a multi-disciplinary team to this project, with specialists in Earth Science, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering all participating.

A spin-out company from the University, Proa Analytics, also had their own success in winning support to demonstrate their Proa Forecasting System at several solar farms. Data from a geostationary satellite, ground-based imaging of local clouds and other sources will be used.

These initiatives are two of 11 projects awarded by ARENA to trial short term forecasting at wind and solar farms across Australia. ARENA’s funding will help enhance the integration of wind and solar farms by providing more accurate forecasts of their output into the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) central dispatch system.


Professor Chris Manzie, Head of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne, said the University is proud to be affiliated with both projects.

“Meridian Energy Australia is a shining example of an established company continuing to innovate in clean energy. Proa Analytics is an outstanding start-up offering best-in-class solar forecasts. Both companies represent very talented and hardworking people who are helping make the energy transition a reality”, Professor Manzie said.

“Enabling wind and solar farms to issue better and better forecasts means that more renewables can enter the market, driving down greenhouse gas emissions more cheaply and more securely.”

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Ruby Brown

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