Australia is in the midst of an energy revolution. The growth in solar power, energy storage and smart control technology has the potential to change the way our society produces, uses and sells energy. To help us prepare for this future, AusNet Services is trialling Australia’s first mini grid in an established community.
A mini grid is a local energy system made up of individual customers that have the capability to generate, store and export power.
A control system enables these customers to operate as a unified energy community. Most mini grids remain connected in some
way to the larger network.
AusNet Services will run three main scenarios that will explore different aspects of the mini grid and how it interacts with the main
grid while accounting for customer and network needs. These scenarios are:
#1: Grid Interactive. Each house operates in grid connected mode, using solar power, batteries and the grid to create efficient
power storage and consumption, as well as supporting the network by reducing peak demand, smoothing power flows and
improving power quality.
#2: Customer Secure Power. Each house operates in off-grid mode, using the individual solar power, batteries and demand/consumption management approaches to optimise energy use.
#3: Community Island. The mini grid community operates independently of the main grid, using power sharing to balance energy generation and consumption in a stable, secure way.
The electricity grid is shifting from being a one-way pipeline that carries energy from large power stations to the customer, to a multi-directional web that supports a wide range of renewable and distributed energy sources. Customers are already becoming active participants in the power grid.
This situation brings considerable challenges to network operators, but could also provide major community benefits.
Each of the mini grid scenarios will give us a better understanding of how to adapt to a future in which we support our customers’ diverse energy choices, while operating our network as efficiently as possible.
Hover over the icons below to discover the value of a community mini grid.
Partnering with GreenSync and Power Technology Engineered Solutions is key to the success of our project.
GreenSync built, operated and maintain the smart solar-storage home systems in collaboration with their subcontractor Ecopower. GreenSync implemented and operate a cloud-based monitoring and control platform.
Power Technology Engineered Solutions developed, installed and maintain the stabiliser.