The Victorian Government is supporting the development and implementation of a series of commercial-ready, smart microgrid projects across the state to address key challenges and contribute to the unlocking of the microgrid sector in Victoria.
Following the extreme fire conditions of the 2019-20 fire season, a feasibility study was undertaken to assess the potential of installing new resilient energy infrastructure options to provide communities and households with power during high impact and extreme weather events.
The Microgrid Program was announced in May 2021 and will support the installation of a mix of solar, batteries and other distributed energy resources for essential service buildings, commercial and industrial building and households, to provide reliable power supply and build energy resilient rural communities.
The locations identified through the feasibility study and receiving support include:
Read media release
Microgrid Demonstration Initiative
The $10 million Microgrid Demonstration Initiative (MDI) 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 MDI grant program funding is supporting state-wide microgrid projects totalling over $27 million in value.
Euroa Environment Group has been awarded $680,000 towards a $1.6 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.
Monash University was awarded $441,450 towards a $981,000 project. The project aimed to demonstrate the market potential for a third-party entity responsible for microgrids. The project will demonstrate how this microgrid operator can manage customers’ (campus buildings) energy use and bills and explore opportunities to develop economic value from microgrid operations.
In June 2021, Monash University’s Microgrid Electricity Market Operator (MEMO) was complete.
The project has:
- investigated the business case and regulatory barriers for the deployment of a third-party microgrid electricity market operator
- developed tools and frameworks required for MEMO operations, and for other sites operating smart embedded networks
- tested the commercial viability of the MEMO through Monash’s microgrid energy market trials.
Leveraging Monash’s physical microgrid, the project has also assessed the market potential of a Distribution System Operator (DSO) in the National Electricity Market (NEM). See Monash’s MEMO toolbox to learn more about developing microgrids.
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 was awarded $210,000 towards a $330,742 project, completed in September 2019. The project delivered a microgrid at Birchip Cropping Group's local facility with 51kW of solar PV and 137kW of battery storage and includes a smart control solution that coordinates the inverter, battery bank and other equipment to ensure the microgrid can operate within the electricity network. The project is providing a working demonstration of microgrid technology and its ability to lower energy costs and improve energy reliability for the region's farmers.
TRY have been awarded $380,389 towards a $767,014 project. The project established a microgrid in Yackandandah to reduce energy bills for local residents and help the community achieve their target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022. 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.
In July 2021 The TRY Microgrid Project was complete.
It focused on a ‘single wire earth return’ (SWER) line, common in rural and end-of-grid locations across Australia. The project involved engagement with 33 network connected households, and subsidised the installation of 17 smart Energy Controllers, 9 Residential solar and battery systems and 5 CO2 Hot water heat pumps. The microgrid is delivering lower power prices and more reliable and resilient power supplies for residents in a bushfire prone area.
Any enquiries should be directed to email@example.com
Monash University have produced a White Paper that presents a Victorian Market Assessment for Microgrid Electricity Market Operators, as part of their project. See White Paper.
SwitchDin have successfully completed their Birchip Cropping Group Microgrid Project. This is the first completed project under the Microgrid Demonstration Initiative and now that it’s operational, it’s providing a working example of microgrid technologies and their benefits in the Loddon Mallee region. Watch the video placed on this page and read more about this exciting project here.
Page last updated: 12/08/21