Australian town in study to assess off-grid feasibility

The town of Huntlee in New South Wales, Australia is the subject of a £1.1m study to establish if it can go off-grid.

The Guardian reports that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided $442,000 towards the study to see if the town currently being developed by LWP Property Group with utilities provided by Brookfield’s Flow Systems, could support its estimated 20,000 residents off the grid.

A mix of rooftop solar panels that communicate with a central battery storage facility (backed up by gas) could provide a reliable and less expensive option to the town than the grid.
Huntlee off grid solar power
70% of daily water needs would be met by a new membrane bioreactor recycled water plant, with the remainder coming from rainwater harvesting and other technologies, such as air-to-water generators.

All of this would potentially be supported by geothermal engineering and embedded networks and could be cost-competitive, if not cheaper, than getting electricity from the grid, according to the study.

Last year Australia’s CSIRO and its Energy Networks Association stated that by 2050 a third of Australians could have left the electricity grid as technologies that support off-grid systems, such as solar panels and battery storage, become significantly more competitive.

Advances in technology have seen economists predict that battery storage costs could fall by about 60% in the next 10 years, while solar panels could fall by around a third in that time.

The option of going off-grid looks even more appealing when Australian consumers consider that household electricity prices have increased by 72% over the last decade.

“The intention is that there’s no additional upfront cost to the householder for water and electricity,” says Huntlee’s project director, Stephen Thompson, “as it would be embedded in the land purchase price” (which starts at $152,000).

“We’ve progressed far enough already that we think there is a financial and technological case for it”, Thompson says. “Now the challenge is understanding the regulatory environment about going off-grid in terms of electricity.”

This largely centres on whether there are suitable protections for customers, such as what happens if someone can’t pay their bill, with a private, off-grid energy supplier.



Latest Wire News

Big Power Projects Lead Southeast Third-Quarter Project Completions, an Industrial Info News Alert

28/07/2016 Big Power Projects Lead Southeast Third-Quarter Project Completions, an Industrial Info News Alert

North Carolina's Amended Hemp Bill Signed Into Law by Governor McCrory -- Hemp, Inc. Reports

19/07/2016 North Carolina's Amended Hemp Bill Signed Into Law by Governor McCrory -- Hemp, Inc. Reports

Aemetis CEO to Attend RIMPAC Maritime Exercise in Hawaii with US Navy Great Green Fleet

18/07/2016 Aemetis CEO to Attend RIMPAC Maritime Exercise in Hawaii with US Navy Great Green Fleet

Article Archives for Decentralized Energy - Formally known as Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine

Current Issue

05/01/2016
Volume 17, Issue 3

industry-opinion-hdr

Into the frying pan

26/07/2016

Spare a thought for the people of Kuwait, where temperatures reached a r...

Innovation around waste heat and renewable fuels

12/07/2016

Making good use of heat generated, and otherwise discarded, at thermal p...

A forward-looking celebration

30/06/2016

COGEN Flanders’ fifteenth anniversary meeting was marked by a wide ...

Change across both sides of the meter

28/06/2016

The North American electricity system is changing, on both the generatio...

Energy access: It's the policy, stupid

14/06/2016

Policy, not finance, is the biggest obstacle to scaling decentralized re...

The inexorable path towards distributed solar

14/06/2016

Can anyone still deny the strength and pace of change within the world’s...

On-site generators on both sides of the pond

20/05/2016

Decentralized Energy readers may be familiar with the excellent data pro...

Latest Digital Edition

 Decentralized Energy, formally known as Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production
Cover
Current Issue
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn  Email Us
/** * jQuery.marquee - scrolling text like old marquee element * @author Aamir Afridi - aamirafridi(at)gmail(dot)com / http://aamirafridi.com/jquery/jquery-marquee-plugin */