AusNet Successfully Takes Suburban Street Off-Grid for 21 Hours

Victorian network operator AusNet Services’ ground-breaking mini-grid trial has taken part of a Melbourne street completely off-grid for the third time, lasting for nearly 22 hours.

According to AusNet, the mini-grid, which is comprised of 17 households on a suburban street in Mooroolbark, was “seamlessly” disconnected from the grid and was powered only by the collective solar and battery storage systems installed on 14 homes.

A report posted on the website of RenewEconomy mentioned that the feat is the latest for the Mooroolbark Mini Grid Trial of AusNet and aims to showcase how utilities can control concentrated pockets of distributed generation to help improve the performance of the grid, while also delivering essential needs of the customers such as a reliable and cheaper electricity supply.

AusNet’s Executive General Manager of Regulated Energy Services Alistair Parker stated during the ABB Customer world forum in Melbourne that it was one of a “plethora” of technologies and grid-based solutions that would assist reaching a National Electricity Network of 50 percent renewables.

“We have a really proven ability there to handle the technical aspects of stability in a mini-grid. We are also starting to play around with whether that can feed, for want of a better term, synthetic inertia, back into the system and help with wider stability,” he added.

He also mentioned that the Mooroolbark trial has established valuable groundwork for successfully communicating with consumers and communities to fix energy problems.

Parker further commented, “We switched (the mini-grid) off from the grid, seamlessly, and we saw how long it would run for. We had a bit of a book within the company, some bets on how long it would go. We were hoping for 24 hours, we only go to 21 hours because, unfortunately, somebody came back from work to a very hot house, switched the aircon on, and that sort of ran through a bit more energy than we were hoping.”

To read the article on RenewEconomy’s site, click here.

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