Yackandandah's mini-grid reaches 1 GWh milestone
The Victorian town of Yackandandah has generated 1 GWh of renewable energy from its community mini-grid, making it closer to its aim of being powered by 100% renewable energy and achieving energy sovereignty by 2022.
The mini-grid was launched in 2017 and is part of an ongoing partnership with Mondo Power, community group Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) and local residents. Households are equipped with rooftop solar panels, battery storage and a Mondo device called Ubi which monitors energy usage and sends alerts when it is time to consider the installation of a battery.
As well as reaching the 1 GWh milestone, an energy storage installation was recently launched at Yackandandah’s fire station, supported by Selectronic, to ensure lower costs to the CFA power prices and provide a secure power supply to assist during power outages.
“We are extremely proud that Selectronic SP PRO inverters and Selectronic Certified Fronius inverters are installed in nearly all properties forming the mini-grid, along with many off-grid installations across the region,” commented Selectronic CEO Rod Scott. “The fire station is of course a crucial part of the community, so we wanted to help TRY and Mondo Power make this new installation a reality.”
TRY spokesperson Matt Charles-Jones said: “While the federal politics remained in bitter energy gridlock, we decided that the local community can lead the way. And Yackandandah has been a world leader in the clean energy transition. We have two functioning microgrids, allowing customers to share power amongst themselves. We are now working with the local community to set up a community-owned energy retailer, which will help us reach our 100% target.”
Independent Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said last year that 50% of Yackandandah’s 1200 households are on solar, 170 Ubis are managing voltage and there are two commercial minigrids — one in Yackandandah, funded by Mondo, and the other in Osbornes Flat, funded by ARENA. In October, Victoria’s Andrews Labor Government also announced $380,000 funding towards a third microgrid project in Yackandandah on Sanatorium Road, which plans to increase the number of houses with solar PV and batteries on a single-wire earth return (SWER) powerline and include control technology to manage network security.
McGowan said: “This trailblazing project is an important proof point, not only for Indi but for the rest of Australia, that when community, industry and government work together we can make real strides forward on achieving a reliable, renewable, affordable energy future.”
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