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SA Produce Market Completes Australia’s First Leading Edge $10.5M Energy Microgrid

Minister for Energy and Mining, the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, in conjunction with representatives from Autonomous Energy and their major suppliers for the project AZZO, Schneider Electric, Tesla, Sunpower and CAT will officially launch the technology on Wednesday 20th November. 10am, at the Pooraka site.

Autonomous Energy was awarded the $10.5M contract to build a microgrid comprising 6,412 solar panels, 25 Tesla powerpack batteries, and the latest technologically advanced high voltage switch room and genset.

Autonomous Energy worked closely with energy controls specialists AZZO to design and implement the integrated control system for power quality monitoring, substation automation and leading edge spot market based control algorithms.

The microgrid will have significant community and environmental benefits by cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and reducing the maximum demand on the South Australian electricity grid by using the latest smart-grid technology. At full capacity, the system is capable of powering approximately 4,500 homes.

The microgrid positions the Market precinct to be completely self-sufficient in its energy supply with significant net savings, compared to the current retail energy offers available in South Australia, of some $4.32M projected over the next 10 years. The system provides operators within the market and warehousing precinct a sustainable and reliable energy source.

Chief Executive Officer of SAPML, Mr. Angelo Demasi, said the project would not have been possible without the $2.5M Energy Productivity Implementation Grant and support of the South Australian Government.

“We thank the South Australian Government for the funding and support that has allowed the implementation of a ground-breaking environmentally sustainable energy solution.”

“The collaboration from our principal contractors Autonomous Energy, AZZO and Schneider Electric attributed to the project’s success.”

“This technology will enable SA Produce Market growers and wholesalers to continue to provide affordable fresh produce to local consumers who purchase through independent retailers. This innovative solution is a win-win for both consumers and the environment, leading the way for other South Australian businesses.” Mr Demasi said.

Matthew Linney, CEO of Autonomous Energy, said the microgrid works in both on and off-grid modes, able to intelligently and instantaneously respond to various scenarios in the National Electricity Market, ensuring reliability at the same time as reducing costs.

“From an energy security perspective, the entire site can be automatically isolated from the grid and the system will supply the site’s entire electrical load with no interruptions,” Mr Linney said.

James DiLiberto, Director of locally based Engineering company AZZO, said “This project represents best in class software, hardware and system integration in a future-ready microgrid engineered for agility as the energy market in Australia transforms over coming years.”

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Produce Market’s microgrid is another example of South Australia’s ongoing integration of reliable renewable technology into our energy system.

“The Marshall Government is committed to a modern energy system which delivers more affordable, reliable and cleaner
energy to all South Australian electricity consumers.”

The project commenced in December 2017 and is now in full operational capacity.