Microgrids. Think Big. Go Micro.
Microgrids are gaining attention as a great way for streets, apartment blocks and industrial estates to band together to be energy independent and cut costs using renewables like rooftop solar.
A microgrid is designed so that a small number of property owners and tenants can generate, share and store their own energy.
Microgrid participants who have their own renewable source, like rooftop solar, generate energy to power their own building.
Excess energy is then supplied to others in the collective microgrid community who do not have the roof space or capital to buy solar panels.
Any excess energy generated beyond that can be stored in a centralised super battery for reuse within the microgrid community, or sold back to the main grid. The microgrid can stay connected to the main grid to sell excess and ensure continuity of energy supply.
By sharing renewable energy that is locally generated, stored and distributed, people can cut their energy costs while reducing carbon emissions.
It also helps keep money local so that instead of spending money outside the region, dollars stay circulating in the community, providing jobs, and helping fund local initiatives.
Introducing Byron Bay's Microgrid Pilot Project
The Byron Bay Arts & Industry Estate Microgrid is an exciting pilot project led by Byron Bay based community-owned energy company, Enova Energy in collaboration with Essential Energy, LO3 Energy, Wattwatchers and the University of NSW.
The ultimate aim is to reduce costs through sharing renewable energy that is locally generated, stored and distributed.
This ground-breaking project aims to:
- Reduce carbon emissions through increased use of renewables
- Lower your power bills
- Keep money local. Instead of spending money outside the region, dollars stay circulating in your community, providing jobs, and helping fund local initiatives.
Great concept? We think so, which is why we want to help you, as Arts & Industry Estate building owners and tenants, achieve this goal.
How It Works
It’s simple: You or your neighbours generate energy from renewable sources such as rooftop solar panels to power your own buildings and supply excess electricity to others in the industrial estate who may not have the roof space or capital to buy panels. When supply exceeds demand, excess will be stored in a centralised super battery for reuse within the estate or sold externally.
The industrial estate is part of an existing distribution network operated by Essential Energy and will remain connected to the main electricity grid to ensure continuity of energy supply.
20 – 30 participants are required for a pilot study – a mix of those with solar and those without in specific areas of the estate. The pilot will take place over approximately two years. When finalised in October 2020 it is hoped that it leads to the formation of a wider, self-sufficient microgrid for the entire estate – so everyone is encouraged to register their interest now.
Participants in the pilot will have individual metering devices installed to measure power inputs and outputs – this data will help work out a new pricing structure based on sharing locally generated power.
One of the aims of the pilot is to work out just how much cheaper it is to use local power sources rather than bringing electricity from afar. Eventually, the microgrid is likely to enjoy its own unique tariff structure, where new prices should be more attractive than current energy pricing.
Switch to Enova: Become an Enova Energy customer and help our quest to champion renewable energy and give back to your community. Small Business Offer – when you join Enova Energy as your electricity provider – your company may be eligible for a professional energy efficiency assessment carried out by our partner Ensol Systems.
Register your interest by going to enovaenergy.com.au/microgrid. We need registrations by 30 September 2018. For those not selected to take part in the pilot, we will hold your registration as an expression of interest for the future.
The project is a partnership between community-owned energy retailer Enova Energy, electricity network distributor Essential Energy, energy marketplace platform provider LO3 Energy, digital energy technology company Wattwatchers, and the University of NSW. It is also supported by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The Way Of The Future
The Byron Arts & Industry Estate Microgrid is the first of what we hope will be many self-sufficient electricity microgrids Enova helps to roll out. We aim to develop a model that can be copied by communities across NSW and ultimately Australia – starting with industrial estates and similar commercial areas, and eventually residential areas.