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World Recognition for South Australian Produce Market’s Leading Edge Microgrid

The South Australian Produce Markets Limited has received international recognition, after being awarded the 2021 Microgrid Greater Good Award during a virtual conference last night.

2021 Microgrid AwardThe market was awarded first place for its leading edge $10.5M Energy Microgrid Project which allows the precinct to be completely self-sufficient in its energy supply and remove any threat of power outages.

In 2016, state-wide blackouts and grid-failure jeopardized the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to South Australia, when the market lost power.

The blackout, coupled with high energy prices prompted the SAPML to take control of its energy supply through the implementation of its Energy Microgrid Project.

The project which was completed in 2019 saw the installation of a 7.5 MW microgrid that uses 6,412 solar panels, 25 Tesla powerpack batteries, and the latest technologically advanced high voltage switch room and genset.

Chief Executive Officer of SAPML, Mr. Angelo Demasi, said “As the main supply source of fresh fruit and vegetables in South Australia, the impact of the food lost during the 2016 outage and devastation to the growers who lost their stock had a domino effect on the market.”

The SAPML’s microgrid allows the market precinct to be completely self-sufficient in its energy supply with significant net savings, compared to retail energy offers available in South Australia.

The system provides operators within the market and warehousing precinct a sustainable and reliable energy source and removes the threat of power outages in South Australia that previously jeopardized food supply to the state.

Mr. Angelo Demasi, said “The microgrid has had significant community and environmental benefits by cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by 32%, meeting Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, 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 1,200 homes per annum.”

SAPML awarded the $10.5M contract to Autonomous Energy with engineering company AZZO chartered to undertake design, commissioning and operational support the SCADA, power automation, power quality services and automated bidding into National Electricity Market spot market. The solution orchestrates all distributed energy resources using AZZO’s EnergyX Generation suite in conjunction with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform and Microsoft Azure.

AZZO’s automated spot market bidding system allows the SAPML to gain revenue by buying and selling energy to the grid based on real-time and forecasted pricing in the National Electricity Market.

Mr Angelo Demasi, said “This technology is enabling 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. We are delighted to accept the award.”

James DiLiberto, CEO of the AZZO Group of Companies, said “This project represents best in class software, hardware and system integration in a future-ready microgrid engineered for agility. The world has awakened to microgrids and when today’s leading businesses, like the SAPML, have the courage to transform, the results are impactful.”

The award is part of Microgrid: 2021: The World Awakens To Microgrids, a virtual conference that has attracted several thousand participants from across the globe. The award celebrates microgrids that fulfil a clear societal need and show how microgrids improve the human condition.