Australia’s Endeavour Energy has tapped mPrest, which specialises in Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS), to provide the energy software solution for the AU$8-million Bawley Point and Kioloa community microgrid project in New South Wales.
Set to be operational by the end of the year, the microgrid will deliver a stand-alone and renewable electricity supply, while reducing the number of power outages in the picturesque south coast villages.
"What's unique about this project is that the microgrid has been co-designed with the community from the outset,” said Albert Pors, future grid systems manager, Endeavour Energy.
The community microgrid includes contributions from the Australian and NSW Government's Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, Endeavour Energy along with local residents.
Pors said that the microgrid would be critical in building resilience within the community.
"The microgrid leverages grid scale energy storage and customer Distributed Energy Resources, combined with mPrest's DERMS solution, to support the network during peak holiday periods and creating an island of power when the community is impacted by weather extremes. This is where future grid technology meets resilience."Albert Pors, Endevour Energy
The first-of-its kind microgrid at Bawley Point and Kioloa community is made up of a grid connected battery, and subsidised home solar and batteries, as well as water heating load control, generating a renewable and reliable electricity supply which will help to build resilience in the face of increasing adverse weather events.
Better way to harness power
A microgrid is a small, local network of electricity users with a local source of power made up of solar and batteries.
Microgrids exist all around the world. They are not new technology, but as locally generated renewable power has increased, these mini grids are becoming a viable way for modern grids to better harness power.
The microgrid at Bawley Point and Kioloa community will be connected to Endeavour Energy's network but will switch to its local 'power island' if the main electricity grid goes downꟷ providing added security for the community’s power supply.
To assist in managing the energy through the microgrid, state-of-the-art software will forecast the renewable energy load and manage it across all solar panels and batteries, in real time.
"Australia is leading the world Distributed Energy Resource (DER) market. This first of its kind microgrid for Endeavour Energy and NSW combines high penetration of DERs, grid storage, flexible load and Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). We are pleased to partner our DERMS technology with Endeavour Energy on this project,” said Natan Barak, CEO, mPrest.
Ron Halpern, chief commercial officer at mPrest, welcomed the opportunity to work with Endeavour Energy on the first community microgrid of its kind in NSW.
"The advanced Australian market, which is driven by prosumer and VPP market participation in energy and ancillary services trading, creates a joint opportunity for Endeavour Energy and mPrest to integrate Dynamic Operating Envelops (DOEs) analytics under mPrest's DERMS Orchestration Platform," said Halpern.
"DOEs are power envelopes that the distribution utility can apply to grid imports and exports, thus enabling dynamic management of grid constraints with minimal impacts on customers. Integrating DOEs is yet another example of how the Australian market is trailblazing the global DERMS market."Ron Halpern, mPrest
Endeavour Energy supplies power to over 2.7 million people living and working in Sydney's Greater West, the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands, Illawarra and the South Coast of NSW. Its customer base spans over 25,000 square kilometres and is made up of 430,000 power poles. and street light columns, 202 major substations and 32,600 distribution substations.
The power utility company Integrates with renewable energy sources including 250,000 residential solar connections, industrial solar and embedded large-scale batteries.