Work to begin on Deakin's renewable energy microgrid

Thursday, 31 January, 2019

Work to begin on Deakin's renewable energy microgrid

Construction will soon be underway on the $30 million renewable energy microgrid set to power the Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, following the sod-turning ceremony attended by Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO, AusNet Services Managing Director Nino Ficca and Mondo Executive General Manager Chad Hymas.

Deakin is partnering with AusNet Services and Mondo to develop an industrial-scale microgrid energy system, which will consist of a 14.5-hectare solar energy farm with a 1 MW central battery, rooftop solar panels and smaller batteries across the campus, as well as a Research, Teaching and Visualisation Centre.

This will help the university reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 12,000 tonnes per year and generate half of the Waurn Ponds campus’s energy needs on site.

The partnership would also build Deakin’s and the energy provider’s capacities as leaders in the development of innovative energy systems, den Hollander said.

“We are experiencing growing global need for research in innovative renewable energy systems, and the demands on energy networks are changing rapidly as technology and knowledge tries to keep up with the growing shift by industry, consumers and governments towards sustainable generation and distribution,” she continued. “This partnership gives Deakin an unparalleled opportunity to help drive the renewable energy revolution by providing unique opportunities for researchers to develop and test solutions at an industrial scale and train the next generation of energy professionals.”

Ficca said: “The partnership between AusNet Services and Deakin University provides education and career pathways for those seeking to build, run and maintain the energy networks of the future. This microgrid project will not only provide clean, renewable energy but also a world-class learning and education hub.”

The project is expected to be completed late this year.

Image credit: ©Alfi/Dollar Photo Club

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