Microgrid Projects Receive Funding

Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund

Two ITP projects and a joint project have this week received Australian Federal Government funding from the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund for research and development of remote microgrids in regional Australia. The studies will go a long way to progressing these communities towards a resilient, sustainable future electricity supply.

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July 29, 2021

Fringe-of-Grid Futures in the Eyre Peninsula

ITP Renewables will conduct a study of Fringe-of-Grid Futures in the South Australian Eyre Peninsula, the western-most part of the national electricity grid. The Kimba and Koonibba communities play a significant role in Australia’s tourism and agriculture export sectors, however have been disproportionately impacted by electricity reliability, cost and security of supply issues. This project with the South Australia’s electricity distribution provider SA Power Networks involves the feasibility of islanded microgrids at three locations on the Eyre Peninsula, a microgrid screening study to identify the optimal mix of grid connection and islanded microgrids to 2030-35, and an impacts assessment of regional microgrids to examine the broader impacts of decommissioning power lines across specific remote areas of the state.

Cobargo Microgrid

ITP Development will be completing a feasibility study and load control trial for a microgrid in Cobargo, a community devastated by 2020's bushfires in New South Wales. The Cobargo community has prioritised building a community owned microgrid as a long-term power supply resilience measure, including the ability to manage individually owned energy systems. This will keep money in the town and provide affordable, low emission power to the community as it rebuilds.

This project will complete a microgrid feasibility study to establish costs, timelines and technology options, progress Council, environmental and grid connection approvals and prepare engineering, procurement and construction documentation. It will also study new customer load management technologies which could reduce the size and cost of the microgrid. Different devices will be tested to understand their control systems and customer preferences.

Napranum & Muralag Microgrids

Finally, as part of the EnergyConnect group, ITP will conduct a feasibility study for microgrids in Napranum and Muralug, both Indigenous Australian communities in Far North Queensland. Muralug is an island community in Torres Strait that has no community electricity service. Napranum seeks to transition from current reliance upon mining operations for its energy supply to self-generation.

This project will entail:

  • community engagement to identify options
  • assessment of load and demand profiles
  • design and assessment of options for Distributed Energy Resources
  • e-mobility assessment
  • identification of sustainable employment and funding options

Muralug and Napranum will provide opportunities for knowledge sharing of self-reliant, sustainable micro-grids for other communities.