Melbourne's Monash Univeristy is working with IT consulting company, Indra, to establish a sustainable electricity Microgrid at its Clayton campus. The microgrid already boasts 1MW of roof-top solar generation capacity which will be extended by another three megawatts by the end of this year alsongside while 1mWh of storage capacity will also be added.
By 2020, the university will be generating 7GW hours of electricity, sufficient to power 1,000 homes for a year. It forms part of the university's goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2030 with the institution aiming to totally eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels as they show how energy drawn from a range of sources can beintelligently managed and efficiently utilised.
Indra's InGRID.AGM software will be used to monitor and process power system operations across the grid through a combination of intelligent processing nodes at the edge of the network and a centralised analytics engine.
To achieve its net zero target, the university has committed to spend $135 million on energy transformation over the next 13 years with investments in LED lighting, campus electrification, on-site renewable energy and purchase agreements for off-site renewable energy. The resulting energy savings will result in significant cost savings which are estimated to be worth $15 million a year by 2028.
With government policy langusishing and the current cabinet seemingly committed to burning coal as the main energy source for our energy needs, we can expect more organisations to take matter into their own hands. With solar installations at homes now more affordable we are seeing a shift with more small, distributed generation.
This is putting pressure on many power companies. Aside from the changes in generation, transmission and distribution networks are seeing their networks used in ways they hadn't contemplated with the energy flow back into the grid now significant.