Local Microgrid Options for Cobargo and Quaama

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ITP was commissioned by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to help the Cobargo and Quaama communities better understand their options for developing a local microgrid. After the 2019-20 bushfires that devastated parts of the Bega Valley, the community is hoping to build an electricity microgrid that could either operate as part of the main grid or as a stand-alone power system when the main grid is down. This project formed the foundation of the Cobargo and Quaama’s endeavours to develop such a microgrid. It included A) a modelling exercise to identify the amounts of ground-mount large-scale PV, large-scale batteries and diesel generation required, and B) a community survey regarding the impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires and their preferred options for responding to them. This then leads on to specific activities and recommendations for the community, all of which are equally applicable to other communities, as well as a brief discussion of the regulatory implications of occasional operation of sections of the grid as independent microgrids.