Endeavour Energy introduces first NSW community microgrid

Endeavour Energy introduces first NSW community microgrid
Image: Endeavour Energy

New South Wales utility Endeavour Energy is implementing a community microgrid to power two coastal towns during storms and bushfires.

The utility has reported making progress with the state’s first of its kind community microgrid, which will power around 100 homes in Bawley Point and Kioloa, 250km south of Sydney on Australia’s southeast coast.

The AU$8 million (US$5.3 million) project is on track to be operational by the end of the year, Endeavour Energy has reported.

The community microgrid will act as a self-contained energy system, harnessing electricity from renewable sources including rooftop solar, home-based batteries, and a 3MW grid connected battery, strategically positioned between the two communities.

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This configuration empowers the microgrid to operate autonomously during outages, forming an island of power for the community, a statement reads.

Guy Chalkley, Endeavour Energy’s chief executive officer, said the microgrid will lead the way in making isolated communities more resilient while laying the foundation for future renewable energy solutions.

Bawley Point and Kioloa are both situated on the edge of the Endeavour Energy network and prone to adverse weather events and thus vulnerable to supply disruptions.

“The grid independence provided by this microgrid becomes essential for their survival and safeguarding our regional communities,” he said.

“What makes this microgrid the first of its kind is the customer centric and integrated approach to planning – we can call upon a customer’s energy resources such as rooftop solar and batteries to add resilience to the network and the community’s power supply.”

Endeavour Energy, which reports co-designing the solution in partnership with the local community, anticipate that it will serve as a blueprint for other communities and is exploring additional locations that could benefit from similar microgrid installations.