- The non-profit CENTRE will assist rural communities in WA with pro-bono microgrid feasibility studies
- Partnering with AEMO, Murdoch University, NERA and Australian Ocean Energy Group
Following the establishment of the Australian Microgrid Centre of Excellence (AMCOE) this April, partners will work with Aboriginal and remote community stakeholders (such as local councils, community groups, rural townships, cooperatives and Indigenous corporations) to provide techno-economic studies for assessing the viability of installing hybrid renewable microgrids in support of a funding or investment application. The studies are performed to a professional standard by industry experts and provided at no cost to the community.
AMCOE Chairperson Terry Mohn said this is one of many new programs being launched this year to promote economic, reliable and sustainable energy to rural areas not otherwise supported by traditional grid solutions.
The benefits of pro-bono microgrid feasibility studies are multi-faceted:
- Renewable energy microgrid development and deployment will create new jobs and economic growth for stakeholders
- Local communities gain access to professional expertise at no cost, and are provided with an investment-ready feasibility study at the end of the engagement
- Volunteers can use their professional skills for the social good, as well as connect with the local community and other volunteers
Lead engineer Julius Susanto, PhD said there is latent demand in rural communities across WA that want to install a microgrid, but don’t have access to the funding or expertise to develop a feasibility study. We want to provide this valuable service to our community, leveraging Murdoch University’s access to mature microgrid design and optimisation planning tools.
Centre’s partner Australian Ocean Energy Group’s Stephanie Thornton sees tremendous value in helping Aboriginal/remote communities adopt renewable microgrids to produce sustainable energy. Where these communities intersect with the coasts, it is a great opportunity to integrate ocean energy as part of the energy supply.