Monash University, Australia, leads by example through its Monash Smart Energy City project that successfully overcomes transitional, networking issues which could be a thorn in the path of the growing renewable energy powerhouse that the country has become.
Australia, having successfully employed all its individual states to meet renewable energy targets and give inroads to an emission free economy, is way ahead of the curve. It will install renewables, five times faster than US and four times faster than China. Having transformed the entire country’s landscape and tapping its abundant source for renewable energy, Australia is now facing a challenge; it may not be fully equipped to at the network level to make the transition. It is ranked at 28th out of the list of 32 advanced economies on the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Energy Transition Index.
Australia’s vastness requires a complex and well spread network with enabled changes to its current electricity grid. Better energy storage systems will ensure a smooth transition to low carbon. The transition must be at network and local levels to cater to the rising commercial and industrial demand.
Here, the Monash Smart Energy City project model comes in handy. The site covers more than 1 square kilometer in total. It is trodden over by over 50,000 people per day and needs to balance the complex energy needs of a busy university campus with its award-winning initiative to reach net zero emissions from the site by 2030. The project implements solar generation, electric vehicle charging stations and a host of smart building management controls onto a campus microgrid, that links to the wider Melbourne grid system, and centrally located, is a 1MWh flow / lithium hybrid redT energy storage – which is currently the largest behind-the-meter commercial energy storage system in Australia.
More than 75% of Australia’s energy generation will be sourced from distributed bases. This will need an integration for networking for a cost effective, safe and carbon free flow. The Monash University Model can serve as a prototype for a centralized implementation.