The Victorian Government is investing in a series of commercial ready, smart, microgrid demonstration projects across Victoria. These commercial demonstrations will include battery storage and new technology solutions with the potential to boost renewable energy dispatching using smart systems.
These demonstration projects will showcase the use of energy storage in different settings and in combination with other complementary technologies. The demonstration of smart microgrids will help Victorians attract international interest and provide education, skills, investment and job creation opportunities.
Latrobe Valley Microgrid Program
The $3 million Latrobe Valley Microgrid Program (LVMP), announced in August 2018, is supporting the Solar Partnering Around Regional Communities (SPARC) microgrid project to be delivered by Ovida Pty Ltd.
This $15.5 million project, due for completion in June 2022, will see the roll out of 75 behind-the-meter microgrids, based on solar and batteries, to reduce energy costs for business and support the transition of the Latrobe Valley to a low-emission economy.
Microgrid Demonstration Initiative
The $10 million Microgrid Demonstration Initiative was announced in December 2017, to support the development and implementation of microgrid demonstration projects that address key microgrid sector challenges and contribute to the unlocking of the sector in Victoria.
The Microgrid Demonstration Initiative grant program funding is supporting state-wide microgrid projects totalling over $30 million in value.
Projects announced in August 2018 include:
Ovida - Community Energy Hubs Project:
Ovida has been awarded $980,000 in grant funding for its $2,038,850 project. The project aims to install shared solar PV and battery systems at 3 multi-tenanted buildings in Melbourne to demonstrate how residential and commercial tenants can access and share renewable energy resources to reduce household energy costs. The scheme will allow interested tenants to opt-in and reduce the amount of electricity purchased from the electricity grid.
Euroa Environment Group - Euroa Microgrid:
Euroa Environment Group has been awarded $680,000 towards a $6 million project. The project will demonstrate the economic opportunities for shared renewable energy and battery assets in communities. It will reduce the local demand for electricity from the grid and reduce the need for seasonal diesel generators. In doing so, the community of Euroa will demonstrate an economic alternative for local renewable generation for network operators.
Origin Energy - Virtual Power Plant (VPP):
Origin Energy has been awarded $4.5 million to develop a $20 million cloud-based project that will distribute power from up to 650 customers with solar PV and batteries during peak periods. The VPP will boost grid stability by discharging power from solar PV and batteries located at homes and commercial and industrial sites to reduce their power bills.
SwitchDin - Birchip Cropping Group Microgrid Demonstration:
SwitchDin has been awarded $210,000 towards a $319,000 project. The project will deliver a microgrid that will include solar PV and battery storage at Birchip Cropping Group's local facility. This will provide a working demonstration of microgrid technology and its ability to lower energy costs and improve energy reliability for the region's farmers.
Monash University - Microgrid Electricity Market Operator:
Monash University has been awarded $441,450 towards a $981,000 project. The project aims to demonstrate the market potential for a third-party entity responsible for microgrids. The project will demonstrate how this entity can manage customers’ (campus buildings) energy use and bills and explore opportunities to develop economic value from microgrid operations.
Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) - Sanatorium Road Microgrid Demonstration:
TRY have been awarded $380,389 towards a $932,879 project. The project will establish a microgrid on Sanatorium Road in Yackandandah to help cut energy bills for local residents and help the community achieve their 100 per cent renewable energy target. The project will increase the number of houses with solar PV and batteries on a Single Wire Earth Return powerline and include control technology to manage network security.
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