The Renewable Energy Microgrid consists 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.
Now operational, the Microgrid provides substantial returns through research, teaching and learning opportunities, and assists Deakin to 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 in the Building KE. This Centre creates a focus for research and teaching, and assists in showcasing the system for industry and community education.
Industry-leading research and education
The Microgrid delivers a broad range of benefits to Deakin, the energy industry and wider community. It ignites 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.
Constructing the integrated system
Project construction commenced in October 2018 and the Microgrid is now operational and feeding energy back into Deakin's High Voltage network.
Construction of the individual components will involve:
|Solar Farm||Rear of campus||Construction complete, commissioning works on hold pending Powercor approval|
|Rooftop solar panel system||Several buildings across campus, which have been selected due to their position and different type of usage||Completed mid-2019|
|Research, Teaching and Visualisation Centre||Building KE||Completed, awaiting Microgrid completion|
|Fibre connection||Underground services aligning with roadway from the solar farm to Building KE||Completed September 2020|
|High voltage connection||Underground services aligning with current overhead power lines from solar farm to western feeder||Connection completed April 2020|