Microgrid proposal to help Yackandandah reach 100% renewables

The Victorian government has announced backing for another microgrid project, this time in the renewables-savvy town of Yackandandah in the state’s north-east, targeting an area of “network constraint.”
The microgrid, which will get $380,389 in funding from the Andrews Labor government, is being established on Sanatorium Road in Yackandandah, along a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) powerline.
The project will increase the number of houses with rooftop and batteries on the SWER, and trial the use of solar, storage and smart control technology to manage network security and as an alternative to costly line upgrades.
The project will also measure the benefits for consumers taking part in the Sanatorium Road Microgrid – such as energy savings and more reliable supply – while contributing to Yackandandah’s community-wide goal of 100 per cent renewables by 2022.
On that front, local outfit Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) launched its second solar purchasing offer – this time with batteries included – just last month.
The bulk-buy round is being conducted 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.
And TRY is behind the idea for the Sanatorium Road Microgrid project – a $932,879 effort that was initiated to help local residents save money on their energy bills.
The project won the attention and funding of the state government via the its Microgrid Demonstration Initiative grant program, which is tipping a total of $10 million into eight state-wide microgrid projects totaling over $37 million in project value.
Other projects to win funding have include a solar and battery storage microgrid at agriculture co-op Birchip Cropping Group in the Mallee region, by SwitchDin and Walnut Energy; and Origin Energy’s $20 million cloud-based virtual power plant that will tap around 5MW of the battery-stored solar power of up to 650 solar customers during periods of peak power demand.
Victoria’s member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, said the Yackandandah Sanatorium Road Microgrid fitted nicely with the state government’s plan to drive down energy prices, reduce emissions and create a pipeline of investment in renewable energy.
“This is the third initiative in Yackandandah and a vital one that will target an area with network constraints giving homes access to solar and batteries for energy support.”
“What we have here in Yackandandah is a community driven initiative to not only reduce our energy use but secure it through renewables,” Symes said.
“North east Victorian communities should be congratulated for driving these projects.”

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