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We’ve helped countless businesses lower their energy bills, including leisure centres, councils, hotels and manufacturers.
Big data This year’s buzzword, “big data” comes with the promise of business transformation – from restaurants who want to […]Read More » Read More »
Big data or BOS
This year’s buzzword, “big data” comes with the promise of business transformation – from restaurants who want to better know their client preferences, to building owners seeking to minimise operating costs. Sean McGowan gets the low-down on what big data means for our industry, with our panel including NDY senior associate Jonathan Clarke, M.AIRAH; Hiflow Industries managing director Brett Saunders, Affil.AIRAH; BUENO managing director Leon Wurfel, Affil.AIRAH; Buildings Alive CEO Craig Roussac, App.AIRAH; CSIRO Intelligent Building Controls Research Leader Dr Josh Wall, M.AIRAH; and Crown Resorts group manager for sustainability Jonathan Wood, M.AIRAH.
An energy market rule change has been proposed that could revolutionise the way power is generated and transmitted, giving residents […]Read More » Read More »
Proposed electricity network rule change to incentivise energy sharing
An energy market rule change has been proposed that could revolutionise the way power is generated and transmitted, giving residents and businesses better access to clean power and ultimately offering savings to the consumer.
The Property Council, the City of Sydney and the Total Environment Centre have joined forces to challenge high electricity network charges.
They are disputing why they should have to pay so much to connect when the energy they produce takes the burden off the power grid.
They have asked the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to introduce an incentive called a Local Generation Network Credit (LGNC) to encourage energy sharing on a precinct scale.
The Total Environment Centre said with a system of LGNCs, generators whose power is used locally would get a credit for taking the strain off the network during peak periods.
This in turn would reduce network maintenance and infrastructure costs.
Total Environment Centre’s energy market advocate Mark Byrne said without the incentive, generators might bypass the grid altogether.
“This is a case of use it or lose it,” he said.
“Over the past 10 years we’ve built a hugely expensive electricity network and users are going to be paying for that for the next 30 years so we want to extract the maximum benefit from it that we can.”
The credits would be earned by large scale energy generators, such as the Central Park residential and shopping precinct in inner Sydney.
Central Park is one of Sydney’s greenest developments and generates power through a tri-generation plant.
A Trigeneration plant creates power by using a gas-fired engine to simultaneously put out low-carbon electricity, hot water to heat the building and chilled water to cool the site.
Its neighbour, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), wants some of Central Park’s power so it can meet its own renewable energy targets.
“We actually found we can’t meet that commitment with opportunities just like energy efficiency and solar, so we’re looking at transitioning to low carbon precinct tri-generation,” Ed Langham from UTS’s Institute for Sustainable Futures said.
Distribution and transmission ‘half the total power bill’
But the second the energy goes through Central Park’s power metre, it attracts a hefty network charge.
Distribution and transmission accounts for about half of the total power bill – whether the power travels a long distance or across the street.
UTS has even investigated building its own power lines to get around the network charges, but Mr Langham said that was not a good outcome.
“We should be utilising the existing grid that we already have, that we have already invested so heavily in over the past five to 10 years,” he said.
High network charges are also one of the main reasons the City of Sydney had to shelve its half-billion-dollar tri-generation project in 2013.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore is pleased to be joining the push for the rule change.
“For years the city has been pushing for a system that makes it easier for residents and businesses to access clean power that is generated and used locally,” she said.
Infrastructure savings could benefit consumers
The rule change could benefit householders in two ways in the long run.
Savings on network maintenance and infrastructure could be passed on to consumers as reduced power bills, while people with rooftop solar systems who sell their power to local aggregators could also get a better price for their power.
The AEMC’s determination on the LGNC rule change proposal is expected to take about a year.
(View original article by Michelle Brown on abc.net.au here)
Article from the thefifthestate.com.au | Cameron Jewell | 5 November 2015 Brookfield will test the case for taking entire suburbs off grid, […]Read More » Read More »
Huntlee could become Australia’s first off-grid suburb
Brookfield will test the case for taking entire suburbs off grid, in a $1.1 million study that could see NSW’s Huntlee development in the Hunter Valley become Australia’s first off-grid suburb.
The $1.1 million study being conducted by Brookfield Energy, which has received $442,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, will see Flow Systems (owned by Brookfield) work with Siemens, Kinesis and CSIRO to determine whether renewables, battery storage and other enabling technologies can power new suburbs reliably and cost effectively.
If the technology is successfully demonstrated, NSW’s Huntlee development, developed by LWP Property Group, could see 20,000 new residents in 7500 homes powered entirely by off-grid renewables.
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said falling renewable costs and increasing network costs made it a good time to explore microgrid technologies.
“If this latest work shows renewables, battery storage and enabling technologies can reliably and cost effectively power new suburbs, it could set a precedent for residential developments and potentially accelerate the uptake of renewables in Australia,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“There are a number of regulatory challenges and constraints and technical risks facing microgrids. Brookfield will share key insights about overcoming these barriers with the energy industry.”
Brookfield Energy chief executive Richie Sheather said there was an emerging market for the technology, saying: “We are excited to be exploring sustainable alternative solutions for energy and water infrastructure solutions and see an emerging competitive market for large-scale local microgrids leveraging high penetration renewable.”
Flow Systems’ Terry Leckie said the goal was to develop a model that has 10 times the penetration of renewables of the current grid at an equivalent cost.
“Proving this can be done technically and commercially will be a real step change for embedded renewables in this country,” Mr Leckie said.
Huntlee project director Stephen Thompson said having “the very last in renewables” was key to the master-planned community’s future.
“For quite a number of years, we have been investigating ways to incorporate cutting-edge renewable technology into the very fabric of the town,” Mr Thompson said.
“We’re excited by the possibility of developing Australia’s first town-scale greenfield microgrid and all of the advantages that level of innovation would bring to our residents and commercial operators.
“If the proposed model for Huntlee is successful, it will positively influence the nature of housing, employment, business, transportation and education for our future residents.”
HOW TRIGENERATION WORKS
Trigeneration, or combined heat, power and cooling (CHPC), is a cost-cutting and emissions-reducing method for generating power at a business site. Essentially, it recycles waste energy to produce heat and cooling as a free by-product. Our trigeneration systems comprise a cogeneration unit and non-polluting absorption chiller. Minimal energy is lost in transmission, achieving energy efficiency as high as 85 per cent.