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The green light for a new energy project in South Australia

The South Australian Government leads the way with its vision for renewable energy

Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power have been awarded a $1.95M South Australia State Government grant toward a $13.8M solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery microgrid project, the first of its kind in Australia.

Schneider Electric, the global energy management specialist, in partnership with Australian renewable energy engineering company Planet Ark Power, has been awarded a $1.95M grant by the state government to support the delivery of a secure, sustainable, and affordable energy supply to South Australia.

The grant will help build a $13.9M solar and battery pilot project at a major distribution center in northern Adelaide.
The first project of its kind in Australia, it combines solar power and battery technology optimized by a Schneider Electric-led microgrid management system, and integrated with an Advanced Distribution Management System, to deliver more secure and reliable power back to the grid.

Gareth O’Reilly, Zone President and Managing Director of Schneider Electric Australia & New Zealand, said that this is a significant milestone for Australia’s renewable energy future.
“The South Australian Government leads the way with its vision for renewable energy generation, and this project is a significant stepping stone toward a future where the whole of Australia has reliable and affordable sources of renewable energy.

“Nationwide, there is potential for 10,000MW or more of demand side response and load shifting, equivalent to five Liddell power stations, and 20% energy efficiency improvements across the National Electricity Market.

“At Schneider Electric we believe demand-side response and energy efficiency should be explored as a first priority to make energy for all Australians safer, more reliable, more sustainable and more affordable. Full adoption of demand-side response and load shifting solutions will reduce the need to open new large-scale power stations. It will also provide the network with the flexibility to allow high levels of renewable penetration into the system,” concluded Mr. O’Reilly.

The grant is one of four grants from this round, and part of the SA State Government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund designed to support projects in four categories: renewable generation, bulk energy storage, bioenergy, and hydrogen infrastructure. This grant comes as recognition for Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power that their current and proposed future work is contributing to a more secure, sustainable and affordable energy future.

Jonathan Ruddick, General Manager at Planet Ark Power said, “Planet Ark Power is proud to be partnering with both the South Australian Government and Schneider Electric on this exciting initiative. This microgrid project allows the showcasing of the technology that will power our future energy supply both locally and globally. The microgrid harnesses the full potential of renewable energy by dealing with the intermittent nature of solar. This project is an example of South Australian leadership in building a stable and affordable energy future.”

The project will include a grid-connected microgrid with 2.9MWh of smart battery storage, demand management, new network integration technology, and up to 6MW of rooftop solar power.
Central to this project will be the integration of Schneider Electric’s market-leading EcoStruxure™ platform , including its Advanced Distribution Management System and EcoStruxure™ Microgrid Advisor, which will optimize the site’s solar PV and battery storage. Embedding solar generation and storage with microgrid control will improve the grid’s resilience and the energy security of the site. Work is expected to commence early in 2018.

About Planet Ark Power
Planet Ark Power is a renewable energy engineering company focused on providing a total solution to reducing businesses’ electricity costs and helping power a cleaner energy future. PA Power does so by providing clean solar power, battery storage, and improved efficiency for the commercial and industrial sectors. PA Power also offers energy solutions using innovative financing such as power purchase agreements for commercial solar systems, and performance energy agreements (shared savings and services model) for energy storage system solutions.

Planet Ark Power is a partnership between GoZERO Energy Pty Ltd and Planet Ark Environmental Foundation Pty Ltd, under which GoZERO licenses the Planet Ark Power name and works in partnership with Planet Ark to provide customers with renewable energy solutions that make environmental and financial sense.

Planet Ark Power is part of the Elevare Energy Group, which is a developer of D-STATCOM inverter technology, microgrids, and energy storage systems (smart batteries).

Microgrid Implementation Challenges and Key Technologies

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