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Taking power to the world


Based in Lilydale, Victoria, Power Quality Centre Manager Alan Cotton has travelled a lot through his work with Hitachi Energy.

Since first joining what was then ABB in 2005, Alan has been proud to work for an Australian manufacturer delivering global smart energy solutions.

What do you like most about working at Hitachi Energy?

Alan Cotton: The team at Lilydale. It’s a tight knit group of people, and there’s a lot of positive cross-function interactions. We can provide the full life cycle of a power quality solution for our customers, which is rare for a multinational to be doing in and from Australia. It’s quite a proud thing to be part of — a big company that is still manufacturing, promoting, and selling equipment all over the world.

What has been a highlight of your career so far?

AC: Within six months of leaving university, I was travelling the world and experiencing diverse places. As an Australian manufacturer in a global company, I’ve been able to visit these customers, tailor solutions for their needs, help them improve their power quality and energy efficiency, and then see the positive impact our products have.

Can you tell us about any specific projects?

AC: Over the last two years we’ve been providing large-scale, high voltage capacitor banks to a NSW transmission company upgrading the transmission network to increase the transfer of power flow between the states and allow for more renewable connections. Our capacitor banks are vital in providing voltage stability in the upgraded transmission lines.

Hitachi Energy are also helping with electrification projects throughout Africa and Asia, where local utilities are upgrading the local networks to ensure reliable power is supplied to their customers. On one such project we’re partnering with a local organisation providing capacitor banks to a regional neighbour through an Australian government-funded social and economic initiative. We’re helping get power to the world and helping them use it efficiently.

Alan-Cotton Blog post

How do you see digital solutions helping with the energy transition?

AC: Renewable energy is multifaceted and dynamic, so there’s more of a demand for active solutions, and equipment that responds quickly to increasingly complex load profiles. Digital solutions will help with monitoring, real-time data, and active maintenance. There’s going to be increased demand for smarter technology, and equipment that extracts as much useable information as possible for our customers.

And what about the future at Hitachi Energy?

AC: What’s exciting about the future is that we’re in a transition phase. We’re making traditional power quality products more connected, intelligent and accessible. There’s a lot of opportunity for us to work with the wider Hitachi group — and we’re only just scratching the surface of what we can achieve through collaboration of ideas and technologies.