On the 9th of February 2017 Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) invited AusNet Services to talk about a shared goal to develop one of Australia’s first commercially operated mini grids in Yackandandah.
A mini grid is an energy system in which a group of households are equipped with an individual energy generation (solar panels) and storage capability (battery). As a mini grid this group can function as a unified energy community through the use of technology such as wireless communications, cloud-based software platforms and home energy management systems.
For TRY Co-chair Matt Grogan the launch was the culmination of three years of planning and hard work. “We started TRY in 2014 and have been working hard to develop a plan for Yackandandah that the whole community can be a part of. It’s exciting to be able to show off the very latest in renewable energy technology right here in Yackandandah,” he said.
Neighbourhood trial this year
Some Yackandandah residents will not have to wait that long to be part of the mini-grid future. A complete solar and battery mini grid solution is being offered to one Yackandandah neighbourhood this year. Mondo™ Power’s, Mark Judd, said “If the residents accept our offer, this will be a chance to start building the renewable energy future and show the town and the greater community the benefits of a mini grid solution.” He went on to say that Mondo™ Power will contribute towards the battery costs to support the realisation of the mini grid in Yackandandah. “We’re committed to building this mini grid in Yackandandah,” he said.
Ubi optimises renewable consumption
Mr Judd also highlighted that householders in Yackandandah will have an opportunity to purchase a battery-ready solar and Mondo™ Ubi™ solution. Mondo™ Ubi™ will send the owner helpful hints regarding their energy usage and send alerts when it is time to consider the installation of a battery.
TRY volunteer Ben McGowan said that with the batteries in place it would be possible for households to optimise their renewable energy consumption using the battery and to effectively share electricity with one another: “This is one of the really exciting things about the mini grid. Yackandandah could end up with its very own shared electricity economy!” “Additionally, TRY has secured 50 Mondo™ Ubi™’s to offer to households with existing solar panels, giving them the chance to upgrade their system free of charge” he said.
Whole community opportunity
For TRY Co-Chair Matt Grogan the mini grid future offers the best chance of reaching TRY’s 100% renewable energy target for the town of Yackandandah. “Participating in this opportunity is going to increase the total amount of solar electricity the town is able to generate,” he said. “The addition of batteries means that we’ll be able to store our solar energy and the mini grid means that we’ll be able to share it. It will be a whole community effort,” he said.
TRY, AusNet Services and Mondo™ Power held an information session and Yackandandah residents are invited to express their interest to be part of the program
See links below to view the AusNet offer and to download the printed proposal: