Company Announcement: Welcome to Mark Johnson AO

1 September 2020 – The Directors at EcoJoule Energy are privileged to welcome Mark Johnson AO as the newest investor and shareholder in the Company.

In a joint statement EcoJoule Directors Mike Wishart and Tony Ferguson said, “Mark has had a distinguished career and has been a respected leader in Australian business. He has had a long association with the energy industry – more than 20 years as a director of AGL, including six as Chairman, and has been Chairman of Alinta Energy since 2010. We at Ecojoule Energy are delighted to have the opportunity to benefit from Mark’s considerable insight into the energy industry and his extensive experience in guiding successful outcomes for business.” 

Mark is Chairman of Alinta Energy and Dateline Resources. He is a Senior Advisor to Gresham Partners and Advisor to Bank of Tokyo Mitsubish MUFG in Australia. He has spent more than 50 years in banking and corporate finance and retired as Deputy Chairman of Macquarie Bank in 2007 and as Chairman of Macquarie Infrastructure Group in 2010. He has also served as a Chairman of AGL Energy and Guinness Peat Group and as a Director Pioneer International, Sydney Futures Exchange, Santos and Westfield Holdings.

He has recently retired from the Advisory Board of the APEC Study Centre at RMIT University, the Board of Governors of the Institute for International Trade at the University of Adelaide, the Board of Directors of Asialink and the Advisory Council of SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong.

Mark was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010 and is a Commander of the Order of the Crown (Tonga) and a Life Governor of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from Harvard. He is a Fellow of the AICD.

Mark’s appreciation of innovation and entrepreneurialism in business provided the perfect platform for his interest in EcoJoule Energy. EcoJoule Energy’s business relies on creating innovative products to build the energy generation network of the future.

Ty Christopher, leading electricity industry executive joins EcoJoule Energy

15 July 2020

  • Ty Christopher has joined EcoJoule Energy as Senior Adviser – Strategy and Business Development
  • Ty’s immediate previous position was as a Senior Executive in a major energy company in NSW holding responsibility for infrastructure development and reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer
  • Ty is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong and well known in the electrical industry for his innovative and transformational leadership.

EcoJoule Energy is delighted to announce that leading electricity industry executive Ty Christopher has joined EcoJoule Energy as Senior Adviser – Strategy and Business Development. Ty will join the Company’s Executive Committee and take a key role in steering the Company’s future.

EcoJoule CEO Dr Mike Wishart said today ”I am absolutely delighted that Ty Christopher, one of the most senior executives in the Australian electricity distribution industry, has chosen to join us at EcoJoule. Ty shares our vision of deploying smarter, cheaper and more effective ways of distributing Australia’s abundant energy to end users, particularly households. I can think of no-one better than Ty to deliver this challenge.

Ty’s role will include both EcoJoule’s product and market development strategy. The Company’s products already include a power line mounted voltage stabiliser being tested and deployed by Australian distributors, and a smart battery inverter with the ability to greatly improve power quality in remote areas while supporting the aging remote area infrastructure. Several further R&D projects are in the pipeline. “While our initial focus is Australia, the world also needs our solutions,” added Dr Wishart.

Ty Christopher said “In Ecojoule I have found an organisation that shares my core commitment to deliver cheaper and cleaner power to customers utilising Australian-developed technology. Through our ongoing development of new technology and our Australian based manufacturing, EcoJoule is delivering the grid of the future here and now.

Ausgrid to trial EcoVAR units

12 June 2020 – Ausgrid is investigating the potential of new low voltage regulation technology from EcoJoule Energy to help optimise the benefits to consumers who have, or may invest, in Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as rooftop solar or batteries. 

Junayd Hollis, Ausgrid’s General Manager – Asset Management said “By regulating the voltage at 230V feeder level, Ausgrid can create additional hosting capacity for DER.  A more stable voltage can also be maintained for all customers, which is good for appliances and minimises the curtailment of DER export.” 

The efficient integration of DER will provide benefits to non-DER owners by enabling Ausgrid to improve network utilisation and maintain the reliability and security of its network at a lower total system cost, which reduces electricity costs to all consumers.

We are quietly confident that the EcoVAR unit from EcoJoule Energy will prove to be an economic upgrade path to increase hosting for additional DER.  This results in a win-win scenario for Customers, Ausgrid and the industry in general” Junayd said.

Dr Mike Wishart, CEO of Ecojoule Energy said “Ausgrid are the largest electricity distributor on Australia’s east coast – championing their vision of renewables playing a major role in reliable electricity generation. EcoJoule Energy are proud of this opportunity to partner with Ausgrid to fulfil our primary objective of delivering sustainable, cost-effective, more reliable electricity solutions to our fellow Australians.” 

Endeavour Energy deploys EcoJoule’s EcoVAR units in Western Sydney

Endeavour Energy has now deployed new EcoVAR units in four areas in Sydney’s Greater West with many more units planned for installation throughout the Endeavour Energy network over the coming period.

2 December 2019  – Since the successful handover of the first of EcoJoule’s EcoVAR production units to Endeavour Energy for pilot study trials in the Illawarra region earlier this year, the results have spoken for themselves.

Endeavour Energy has now deployed new EcoVAR units in four areas in Sydney’s Greater West with many more units planned for installation throughout the Endeavour Energy network over the coming period. The deployment of EcoJoule’s EcoVAR units by Endeavour Energy will work to maintain Endeavour Energy’s track record of safe and reliable supply of electricity to 2.4 million people in households and businesses across Sydney’s Greater West, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, the Illawarra and the South Coast.

Currently Australia is at the forefront in the uptake of solar panels worldwide. Solar panels are now reported as being installed in Australian homes and businesses at a rate of six every minute.

CEO of Ecojoule Energy Dr Mike Wishart says, “This solar revolution is great news for sustainable energy generation and improving the bottom line of consumers’ power bills. However, the downside is that large amounts of renewable solar power being generated back into the grid can push the voltage of the grid outside of acceptable ranges, impacting consumer appliances and tripping solar inverters. This is why the EcoVAR units are a vital innovation in the modern world of power grids.”

Endeavour Energy results have shown that the performance of the EcoVAR units has been better than expected, showing voltage improvements greater than 1 volt per kVA.

Endeavour Energy General Manager Customer and Assets Ty Christopher said, “These positive results following the installation of EcoVAR units exemplify our commitment to facilitating solar panel connections for our customers. Endeavour Energy aims to build a sustainable energy future for our customers by harnessing environmentally responsible energy sources wherever possible. As a socially responsible business, we are seeking to conserve our natural resources while still meeting the energy demands of our customer.”

What this means for Endeavour Energy’s consumers is that the EcoVAR units reduce the total voltage variation on the electricity network by 20 volts or more and keep the voltage supplied within acceptable limits.

The EcoVAR units work as a kind of shock absorber to stabilise the system voltage and increase the ability of the network to connect and absorb energy from customers solar panels.

This tighter voltage control improves appliance efficiency and lifespan as well as enabling higher levels of renewable generation, which all contribute to decreasing consumer electricity bills and happier consumers.

Positive feedback is already being received from household consumers since the deployment of the four EcoVAR units in Elderslie, Kentlyn, Berkshire Park and Badgerys Creek, and soon an additional two will be installed in Bawley Point on the South Coast.

Construction consultant Kris Loyolo, from Elderslie, is one of the happy customers benefiting from the installation of EcoVAR. He said, “Last summer before the EcoVAR units were installed my family and I often had to leave and move in with my parents when the temperature in the house reached 40 degrees and the air conditioner failed because of low voltage. It’s great now and I thank Endeavour Energy for its help and keeping me informed the whole time.”

With the summer season upon us, the new EcoVAR units will enable consumers to realise the value of their rooftop solar PV while at the same time keeping the voltage well within acceptable limits.

About EcoVAR

EcoVAR is a Static Compensator (STATCOM) that helps solve voltage problems. Its control algorithms automatically adjust the current to reduce high network voltages and increase low network voltages.  EcoVAR reduces the total voltage variation or swing on the electricity network and keeps the voltage supplied to the consumer within acceptable limits.You can view more information about EcoVAR on EcoJoule’s website: 

Endeavour Energy accepts first EcoVAR units

“A way to invest in the Network of the Future”

On Friday 1 March 2019, Dr. Mike Wishart, CEO of EcoJoule Energy, handed over the first production EcoVAR units to Endeavour Energy for trials in a pilot study and to the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre at the University of Wollongong for laboratory testing.

Mike Wishart and Tony Ferguson hosted 30-40 guests, including some high level individuals like Mark Johnson AO (Chairman of Alinta), Rod Howard (COO of Endeavour), senior Endeavour staff as well as local politicians and academics from the University of Wollongong.

We credit Endeavour Energy with showing leadership and vision in looking to the next generation of power generation.  In an Australian first, Endeavour Energy will trial EcoVAR on power poles in April installing 20 units throughout the network in the Illawarra and Western Sydney.

Ty Christopher, the General Manager of Network Assets at Endeavour Energy accepted the handover of the first EcoVAR unit and he spoke enthusiastically about the opportunities that Endeavour Energy saw for the EcoVAR unit to assist in reducing the energy costs to its customers and serving customer needs in the most efficient way possible – not building more poles, more wires and putting more cable in the ground.

This is something that’s going to benefit all of our customers and this is something that we believe is going to be an important step in building the network of the future, one that meets our customers future needs …
Ty Christopher, GM Network Assets, Endeavour Energy

Our guest of honour, Grant King, President of the Business Council of Australia and former CEO of Origin Energy was also tremendously supportive of the innovation of the EcoVAR units and the work we’re undertaking at EcoJoule Energy.

“… the biggest and most complex machine in the world is all of those bits and pieces that go together to generate a reliable and hopefully affordable supply of energy.”

“… we are still challenged in terms of energy policy, we are still challenged to make this machine work for us as a community and as consumers.  And I think this is where the work of EcoJoule comes in and the incredible work that Mike Wishart has done.”

“And I truly do believe this is where we need to focus and it’s these sorts of people we need to rely on – that will ultimately bring this … this system, this machine, back into control and let it serve the people in the way it was intended – to provide reliable, affordable energy obviously on a more sustainable basis.”

Grant King, President of the Business Council of Australia

We are delighted to share with you some highlights and media coverage from the event.

9 News Illawarra coverage:

Speech by Mr. Grant King:

‘Shock absorber’ makes electricity network a two-way street

The electricity network has changed from a one-way street to one where power flows in both directions.

Endeavour Energy is carrying out a pilot study on a device that aims to make that two-way flow more reliable.

Previously electricity ran from the power plant to the home, but now people are installing solar panels and batteries with a view to feeding energy back into the grid.

That’s a change that requires an updating of the electricity network, and Endeavour is looking to achieve this with a box-like device called EcoVAR.

Developed by Australian start-up Ecojoule Energy, the device – which will be attached to power poles or in the “green boxes” in the street – stabilises the electricity flow.

Ecojoule Energy CEO Dr Mike Wishart said it will deliver “volume smoothing” across the network.

“This means more dollars in the Aussie back pocket by ensuring solar is operating year-round, maximising return on investment,” Dr Wishart said.

Endeavour’s general manager of asset management Ty Christopher said the device will allow for a greater flow of energy from homes back into the grid – and also help those without solar panels.

Read full article here

Accelerating Commercialisation Grant Recipient

In January 2019, it was officially announced that Ecojoule Energy was among the recipients of the Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation Grant.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said the grants were designed to accelerate the development of high-quality projects which had strong local and export market potential.

Minister Andrews went on to say, “The funding will help improve the capability and competitiveness of these businesses, promoting economic growth and creating Australian jobs.”

Ecojoule Energy’s CEO and Founder, Mike Wishart said he is proud to receive the Grant, and he is also proud to have received the Government’s recognition of the innovation offered by Ecojoule’s EcoVAR and EcoSTORE and the products’ viability and potential impact on the energy market, domestically and internationally.

Mike said, “The grant will be used to fund commercialisation of the EcoVAR and EcoSTORE products and also, receiving this recognition will provide a solid platform from which we can showcase and promote another innovative Australian business that offers sustainable and economic benefits.”

As part of winning the grant, Ecojoule Energy will also gain access to highly experienced commercialisation advisers to provide strategic partnering opportunities and specialist mentoring for the ensuing stages of the business building process.

Link:  Ministerial media release – The Hon Karen Andrews MP