Roseworthy Solar Farm Construction Begins

Solar and energy storage project at Roseworthy

Roseworthy campus – University of Adelaide

Work commenced yesterday at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus on a solar farm with battery storage that will form part of a microgrid.

The 1.2MW solar energy facility will incorporate a 420kw/1200kWh hybrid energy storage element – a combination of lithium-ion and vanadium flow batteries1.

This will be the University’s first embedded microgrid and improve emergency back-up facilities for Roseworthy campus.

Energy, Education And Research

In addition to providing more than 40% of Roseworthy campus electricity requirements and slashing energy related emissions, the facility will be an important educational and research tool.

“The solar farm will be a ‘living laboratory’ for students and researchers, with access to time-lapse recording of the construction, building plans and data systems for remote-energy management, energy storage and load flex,” said University of Adelaide Chief Operating Officer Bruce Lines. “Our researchers will utilise the solar farm and battery storage systems for projects including energy management strategies, grid segregation, low-cost fault detection systems, system resilience, and cybersecurity.”

Several research projects associated with the energy storage system will be conducted each year for three years. Some of the research will involve testing the performance and reliability of the battery technology used in the hot, dry conditions Roseworthy often experiences during summer (for example, it reached 47.2C in Roseworthy on January 24).

The $7 million project has been assisted with a $780,000 grant from the South Australian Renewable Technology Fund and is expected to be operational by May next year.

Roseworthy Solar Farm is the eighth solar project the University has undertaken under its Campus Sustainability Plan, which set a goal of 2MW of solar PV installed on-site by 2020. In related energy efficiency efforts, campus buildings are being refurbished with more efficient mechanical and electrical systems, taking into consideration asset life-cycle and potential savings that could be realised through early replacement of assets.

Roseworthy campus has been generating electricity from solar power for some years. Other installations include a 30kW system at its Equine Centre installed in 2012 and another 30kW system installed at the Vet School in 2014.

Located 50 kilometres north of Adelaide’s central business district and 7 kilometres west of the township of Roseworthy, the campus has its roots in Roseworthy Agricultural College, which was the first agricultural college in Australia (est. 1883). Roseworthy campus is home to South Australia’s only veterinary school and teaching hospital.

Footnotes

  1. When originally announced in March 2018, the energy storage component was to be a 0.5MW/2MWh system and apparently flow battery only.
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.

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