Deakin University Solar Powered Microgrid Project Moving Along

Deakin University microgrid project

Image: Deakin University

Deakin University has called for contractors and suppliers to register their interest in working on the construction of its microgrid project.

In December last year, Deakin University announced it would be establishing a 7.25MW microgrid1 at its campus at Waurn Ponds, a southern suburb of Geelong in Victoria.

The facility will feature more than 23,000 solar panels and over 1MWh of battery storage capacity. The solar panels will primarily be installed at a 14.5 hectare site at the southern end of the campus, with 833 modules also installed on various rooftops of campus buildings.

Expected to slash Deakin’s carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes a year and supply half of Waurn Ponds campus’ energy requirements, the microgrid should to begin powering the facility from the middle of next year.

Works associated with the project are being structured into four packages:

  • Solar Farm Design and Construct
  • Display Suite Construction
  • HV Infrastructure and Communications Construction
  • Civil and Associated Site Preparation Works

Interested contractors and suppliers can find out more here – registrations close on the 19th of May.

The microgrid will give the Waurn Ponds postcode a big lift in terms of solar capacity. According to recent Clean Energy Regulator figures, 3,453 solar power systems (<100kW capacity each) are installed in Waurn Ponds, representing just over 11MW of capacity.

The Deakin  project is being carried out through a partnership with AusNet Services through its independent subsidiary, Mondo Power. AusNet Services is Victoria’s largest energy delivery service business, with approximately $11 billion of electricity and gas distribution assets owned and operated by the company.

The microgrid is a part of  Deakin’s Carbon Management Strategy and will play a significant role in the University achieving its aspirational goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.  Additionally, as with other universities that are going the solar energy route, Deakin’s system will provide important educational and research opportunities.

“The project will also have real time links with a new research, teaching and visualisation centre which will be instrumental in training the next generation of energy professionals,” says the university.

Other Australian universities using solar power or that are in the process of doing so include:

The pace of solar energy uptake has really picked up in the last couple of years among institutions of higher learning, and no doubt the number of Australian universities to hop on board the solar juggernaut will continue to grow as it rumbles down the road of lower energy costs and reduced emissions.

Footnotes

  1. A microgrid is a local network of electricity generation sources that can operate either interconnected to the mains grid or disconnected from it (island mode)
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. I realise that the text

    “Other Australian universities using solar power or that are in the process of doing so include:”

    does not say that they are limited to the universities named, but, I am wondering whether any of the WA universities, also, are “using solar power or that are in the process of doing so”.

    I expect that at least Murdoch University, having been teaching renewable energy for a number of years, would have implemented the use of its own clean electricity generation.

  2. Hi,

    You’d think that it being a University that they’d have enough people there to do the job themselves. Sort of like a school project. Maybe get a Sparky in to connect it to the fuse box.

    dRdoS7

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