The Ben Valley Microgrid

The Ben Valley Microgrid

Exciting things are underway in Yackandandah with a compelling collaboration between AusNet Services, Mondo, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) and 14 Ben Valley home owners.

This collaboration is a leading edge research project to explore how home solar and battery systems can be used to manage power quality and voltage across the local electricity network. The objective is to understand how to facilitate and integrate an expanding uptake of solar electricity connections to the existing electricity network, thus avoiding expensive network upgrades. Central to this trial is the Ubi – a microprocessor connected to the Internet which can help manage movements of electricity within the home/business and back onto the electricity network.

In Ben Valley/Osbornes Flat, (small settlements 28kms from twin cities, Albury /Wodonga), 14 home owners have installed a Mondo Solar and Battery system and via ‘Mondo Ubi,’ the AusNet Services network operations team adjust the solar and battery inverters and some hot water services, in real time, to help the network manage the local network power quality.

In early August the first live test was performed where the home solar inverters were used to lower the voltage in the network. For the technically minded, the home solar inverters were configured to absorb ‘inductive reactive power!!’ The outcome of the first live test was impressive. Further testing is underway to confirm the results. Please stay tuned – preliminary results and demonstrations will be presented to the Ben Valley collaborators in November this year.

This is the second microgrid in Yackandandah and a third is in the ‘pipeline.’ Mondo looks forward to continuing the partnership with the Yackandandah community to achieve the ultimate goal of a 100% renewable Yackandandah by 2022.