Renewable energy microgrid

Deakin University is partnering with AusNet Services and Mondo Power to establish a Renewable Energy Microgrid on the University’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

The Renewable Energy Microgrid will consist of a 7 megawatt solar energy farm and storage system, a 0.25 megawatt distributed rooftop solar generation and storage system, and an associated research centre.

Expected to be operational in late-2019, the Microgrid will provide substantial returns through research, teaching and learning opportunities, and will help Deakin achieve its aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The Waurn Ponds Campus is the centre of Deakin’s energy research and provides a diversity of research opportunities that can simulate broader community and city environments.

The Microgrid will be a key part of the new Geelong Future Economy Precinct and will include:

  • 7 megawatt solar energy farm and battery storage system positioned on 14.5 hectares at the rear of the campus, on a north-facing sloping site as suited to solar installations.
  • 0.25 megawatt rooftop solar generation and battery storage systems installed on existing campus buildings.
  • A Research, Teaching and Visualisation Centre which will create a focus for research and teaching, and assist in showcasing the system for industry and community education.

The Microgrid will deliver a broad range of benefits to Deakin, the energy industry and wider community. It will ignite the new research platform being created under Deakin Energy, with an aspiration for global excellence.

Some of the benefits of the Microgrid include:

  • Supplying around 54% of the Waurn Ponds Campus’ current power consumption.
  • Reducing 12,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions at the campus per year.
  • Providing staff and student learning, research and employment pathway opportunities.
  • Building research capacity through a collaborative research program with AusNet Services that will be at the cutting edge of energy research and leadership in new energy system development, as well as other strategic research partnerships.
  • Supporting education and training for energy professionals of the future and providing a touchpoint for community learning.

Project construction began in October 2018 and the microgrid is expected to be operational in late-2019.