Utility to take part of melbourne suburb off-grid with solar + storage _ renew economy

Victoria network operator Ausnet Services is to take part of a Melbourne suburb completely off grid, powered only with rooftop solar and battery storage, in a first-of-its kind trial in Australia that points to the speed of the household energy revolution.

There is growing interest in the use of mini-grids in Australia, using local renewable energy sources to take remote towns and new housing developments either completely off the grid, or equipped with a “small” connection.

But the planned trial by Ausnet – to be launched by Victorian energy minister Lily d’Ambrosio on Tuesday – points to the fact that mini-grids may also be used within major towns and cities as a cost-effective alternative to the century-old model of large centralised generators and expansive and costly networks.

Ausnet is to install between 3kW and 4.5kW of rooftop solar and 10kWh of battery storage on each of 14 homes in the outer eastern suburb of Mooroolbark, chosen because the homes are typically suburban, and because Ausnet has a network constraint it thinks it can solve with distributed energy (solar and storage), and because the network configuration means that it is relatively easy to take them off the grid.

The network operator will first monitor the production and consumption patterns of the 14 homes, before then inviting them to individually quit the grid, and see how long that lasts, and then to quit the grid altogether but share their solar and storage in an islanded network.

Ausnet managing director Nine Ficca says the “exciting” and “ground-breaking” trial is designed to demonstrate that homes with residential solar systems and batteries can generate, store and share renewable electricity with each other, and operate as a ‘mini grid’ via their local power lines.

“AusNet Services is excited to partner with the community to develop systems that may give consumers the choice to share their solar-generated electricity with their communities, potentially lower their bills and support the electricity network,” Ficca says.

The interest of the network, of course, is to remain relevant in a future that is dominated by locally generated solar and battery storage. Gas 66 Most utilities now accept that, within a few decades, around half of all electricity demand will be satisfied by “distributed energy”, and this means a complete revision of the energy market structure.

Networks are confident that they have a key role in this future, because it will make sense for communities to “share energy” and they will need wires to connect to each other. Gas leak chicago The future role of centralised generators and retailers is less clear.

Ausnet’s trial will build upon a recently completed three-year residential battery storage trial with homes in its network, which analysed usage and consumption patterns, and the potential returns on investment and tariff structures.

That study found that residential battery storage is not yet “economic”, but quick payback times may not be far off given the expected sharp fall in battery storage prices, which are expected to go down by half in coming years.

The most interesting aspect of that study was the conclusion that residential battery storage could offer as much, or even more, benefit to the network operator than to the consumer.

That’s because of the potential savings on network upgrades, and the ability to use battery storage to reduce and manage peak demand, provide stability to the grid, to provide power during outages caused by storms and other events, and to defer upgrades.

Some utilities are finding that the most effective means of saving costs for new developments, and for remote towns, may be to not build a grid connection at all, and provide a local network solution – or a mini-grid – instead.

I think it’s an attempt to see if it’s feasible to repurpose the poles and wires , which the consumer does not own , into a mini grid . Arkla gas pay bill The consumer only leases the grid and the off grid tech , installation and maintenance expertise of the provider.

It’s an interesting project as it will expose the many permutations of peak and average loads , demand , climate , seasons , holidays and householder needs variations due lifestyle and appliances used.

Your right , if the costs are too high you might as well go off grid. 6 gases But how to do that if you don’t have the expertise ?. Electricity in the 1920s And is it legal and will your insurance cover an incident such as fire , fusion i.e lightning direct strike or emp surge into your panels ?

We are talking suburbia here , not an off grid regional situation where necessity is the priority , not so much cost. Electricity physics definition Although it often works out cheaper if you DIY !

Based on my calculations if the provider is not greedy it should come in at 26 cents per Kilowatt hour (ex gst) assuming $5k for 4.5kw solar panels and assuming average 20kwh per day consumption . Gas after eating Plus the cost of a genset or grid connect as backup , both of these could be fully funded by what you would pay for the poles / wires / smart meter rental ( Victoria) daily access fee anyway.

These are based on a typical 5% home loan interest rate and a cost of $16k for the solar panels , batteries and Off grid inverter/ mppt charger.And a full “refresh” every 15 years.

The solar panels should be around $5k based on REC’s rebates so your only paying full price for the batteries and combined off grid inverter/ MPPT solar charger.

If they are greedy you can double that . Electricity wikipedia simple english In which case you might as well go off grid and pay someone to do it for you much cheaper.Or pay effectively 50 cents per Kwh