December 7 (Renewables Now) - Australia's Deakin University on Thursday said that a AUD-30-million (USD 23m/EUR 19m) industrial-scale smart microgrid with research platform will be built at its Waurn Ponds campus in Victoria.
The project is a partnership with network operator AusNet Services (ASX:AST). The 7.25-MW microgrid will include a solar farm plus some solar panels on campus rooftops, over 1 MWh of battery storage and an integrated research and visualisation centre.
"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 in training the next generation of energy professionals," said Deakin University vice-chancellor professor Jane den Hollander.
The system, expected to go live in mid-2019, will also further the university's efforts towards carbon neutrality.
According to AusNet Services' managing director Nino Ficca the project reflects the major change in the way energy is generated, delivered and used. "Our aim is to explore what the future energy possibilities might be and use the research outcomes to empower communities and customers," he said. Ficca added that the initiative could be broadened to include research of other technologies such as hydrogen storage.
It is expected that future development of the project will include expanded battery testing, the addition of smaller wind turbines, innovative transportation hubs, and the integration of renewable generation across the campus.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.753/EUR 0.638)