In what is likely a world first, Peel Renewable Energy has developed a flexible solar-powered microgrid solution to the high cost of delivering mains power to new industrial estates. The first stage of the company’s demonstration project at the Peel Business Park, a 1,000-hectare site in semi-rural Nambeelup, near Mandurah in Western Australia, was energised in August 2020 with a grid connection from the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). Full integration of the microgrid’s 1.2 MW ground-mounted solar generation (installed) and 2.5 MWh battery storage system is expected to be completed in early 2021.
Peel Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of Tasmanian gas distributor and energy retailer, Tas Gas, and was previously part of the Enwave Australia group that developed the Tonsley District Energy Scheme in Adelaide, South Australia.
Rob Breden, General Manager for Peel Renewable Energy in Western Australia, told pv magazine, that the traditional approach to developing industrial estates has been to build multimillion-dollar lead-in grid electricity infrastructure, the full capacity of which might not be utilised for many years, until lots are sold or tenanted and businesses build their facilities and ramp up operations.
“A microgrid approach allows for a more staged and fit-for-purpose deployment of services infrastructure to match the particular objectives of developers,” says Breden.