New solar + battery round for Yackandandah, as 100% renewable plans take shape

The regional Victorian town of Yackandandah has launched its second solar purchasing offer – this time with batteries included – as it works towards a goal of 100 per cent renewable by 2022.
The new bulk-buy round was launched last week by Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY), in partnership with Mondo Power – the community grid subsidiary launched by network operator AusNet Services to help communities shift to renewables.
According to Mondo, the aim of the Stage Two offer is to scale battery ready solar across the area, ahead of plans to “secure financial subsidies” to roll out additional batteries across the local network.
TRY has also been working on plans to launch its own community energy retailer – Indigo Power – to serve electricity customers across the state’s north east.
The new solar plus storage round follows up on the highly successful 2017 offering, which saw more than 550kW of solar generation added to the Yackandandah area.
The aim this time is to target households and small business across a broader range – within 15km of Yackandandah – offering the same solar and battery storage technologies being tested in local minigrid projects.
These latest of these – the Ben Valley Microgrid – is a collaboration between AusNet, Mondo, TRY and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and 14 Ben Valley home owners.
That project, after being successfully live tested last month, has since been expanded into a “nationally relevant research trial”, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and led by UTS.
The aim is to explore how solar, batteries, control systems and orchestration can be integrated into a network which – as TRY puts it on its Facebook page – was “designed to cart power mainly from Latrobe Valley” to homes and businesses.
“And indeed, how can this be a win for electricity users; residents, business, industry, the government and the planet?” is asks.
Ben Valley is the second microgrid in Yackandandah, and a third is in the ‘pipeline,’ the AusNet subsidiary says.
The participants are fitted with a device called Mondo Ubi – a web-connected microprocessor that helps manage the flow of electricity within the home/business and back onto the electricity network.
That same technology will be offered as part of the new solar and storage purchasing round, too.
“Mondo looks forward to continuing the partnership with the Yackandandah community to achieve the ultimate goal of a 100% renewable Yackandandah by 2022.”

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