NSW South Coast communities selected for microgrid studies

Our federally funded project examining the use of microgrids to bolster local energy resilience has selected eight sites across the Eurobodalla for further studies.

Bodalla, Broulee, Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba (treated together), Congo, Mystery Bay, Nelligen, South Durras, and Tuross Head represent a diverse cross section of the region and will provide learnings for regional communities across Australia. 

The Southcoast microgrid Reliability Feasibility (SµRF) project is exploring the feasibility of microgrids in regional contexts that face challenges from events such as bushfires, especially in the Eurobodalla shire.

A microgrid is a small-scale electricity network that can be used as part or independent of the main electricity grid. They typically combine and rely on a variety of electricity sources, including solar, coupled with battery storage. Microgrids are expected to provide resilience when the mains power fails, and are becoming an important part of the energy mix for regional and remote communities.  

“We hope this approach inspires other regional projects, policy makers, and funders to consider a wide range of factors in their efforts to boost resilience,” said Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, technical lead on the SµRF project with the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University (ANU). 

“We wanted to make sure that we chose sites that would best address the need to build resilience. To do this, we developed an integrated approach that sought to assess the vulnerability of communities based on socio-economic factors, for example age or disability, as well as technical indicators such as historic data on power outages. It also assessed the ease of implementing a microgrid based on the amount of rooftop solar already installed in each location.” 

Story in AAP here https://www.aapnews.com.au/news/micro-grids-power-ahead-amid-energy-drama/zLvECRQ

BSGIP media release here https://bsgip.com/research/projects/southcoast-%c2%b5-grid-reliability-feasibility-s%c2%b5rf-project/nsw-south-coast-communities-selected-for-microgrid-studies/