Solar microgrid to power Australian industrial park

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A solar microgrid will provide electricity for companies at the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, Western Australia. Announced as the first project of its kind in Australia, the project is expected to create thousands of jobs and reduce power prices in the park by 30%.

The capacity of solar and battery storage systems has not been disclosed, but it was noted that the estate will use electricity supplemented from the Western Power grid when required. The project will be developed by a consortium led by gas network owner Enwave Australia. As the Peel Business Park grows, the operator will lease roof space from businesses to install solar panels that will feed additional energy into the microgrid.

The Western Australian government said microgrids are an innovative solution to the high cost of extending the main grid into the estate. They will also speed up the development of industrial land and create development opportunities for the business park.

“The Peel Business Park in Nambeelup is being created for forward-thinking businesses and this next generation thinking is reflected in the Park’s proposed microgrid,” said Alannah MacTiernan, Western Australia’s regional development minister. “The microgrid offers clear incentives for businesses to relocate to the Peel Business Park, helping to drive job creation in the Peel region.”

Peel Business Park could potentially to inject around AUD 1 billion into the state’s economy each year.

“This is a smart, sustainable solution for a broader project that will be built on innovation,” said Minister for Lands Ben Wyatt. “Business, industry, training, research and development come together, invigorating the Peel region and creating jobs that cannot be achieved without providing a secure and affordable power supply.”

The government said the microgrid could be expanded beyond LandCorp’s current landholdings.