Endeavour Energy Readies NSW South Coast Microgrid

bawley point map

The NSW south coast towns of Bawley Point and Kioloa will soon be running a solar PV and battery powered microgrid, designed to give them a more resilient power supply.

The microgrid comprises rooftop solar, home-based batteries, and a 3MW grid-connected battery, strategically positioned between the two communities. The configuration empowers the microgrid to operate autonomously during outages, forming an island of power for the community.

Endeavour Energy, which announced the microgrid in a media release, said it’s the first community microgrid of its type in NSW.

Bawley Point and Kioloa are around 250km south of Sydney and are quite remote: their nearest town is Termeil, and they’re several kilometres east of the Princes Highway.

That puts them at the edge of Endeavour’s network – making them vulnerable to power supply disruptions.

The microgrid covers around 100 homes, which have received subsidised solar panels and/or solar batteries installed by installer Sunny Afternoons, in a project Endeavour said will provide “a reliable, stand-alone, and renewable electricity supply while reducing the number of power outages” caused by events like storms and bushfires.

Should an outage occur, the two towns will power themselves independently of the grid.

The $8 million project, due to be fully operational by the end of the year, received funding from the Commonwealth and NSW via their Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, along with Endeavour Energy and residents.

Endeavour Energy CEO Guy Chalkley said:

“What makes this microgrid the first of its kind is the customer centric and integrated approach to planning – we can call upon a customer’s energy resources such as rooftop solar and batteries to add resilience to the network and the community’s power supply.

 

“We have co-designed this innovative solution in partnership with the local community and are pleased that it will serve as a blueprint for other communities, empowering them to embrace renewable energy and attain self-sufficiency during times of crisis.”

South Coast state member Liza Butler, also chair of the Community Microgrid committee, said the project had taken three years of work between the energy provider and the local community.

“I look forward to working with other villages across the South Coast to bring more microgrids online,” she said.

Endeavour says it is investigating other possible microgrid locations.

About Richard Chirgwin

Joining the SolarQuotes blog team in 2019, Richard is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing, science and solar. When not writing for us, he runs a solar-powered off-grid eco-resort in NSW’s blue mountains. Read Richard's full bio.

Comments

  1. Forrest Gardener says

    These press releases are always long on how wonderful everything is going to be and short on detail. For example we are told that should an outage occur the two towns will power themselves independently of the grid.

    Power themselves for how long? To figure that out it would help to not only have the 3MW figure but also the xx MWh figure. It would help to know how much residential battery capacity is being installed.

    But of course saying that the two towns would be able to power themselves for (say) an hour and a half takes would not be quite so impressive.

    And $80M for 100 houses = $80k per house. Who needs a microgrid when they could just about all go off grid for that amount?

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