Solar grid at Garden Island will be ‘revolutionary’


The site of the Carnegie Clean Energy microgrid project was unveiled to the media at Garden Island on Tuesday.
The site of the Carnegie Clean Energy microgrid project was unveiled to the media at Garden Island on Tuesday.

A SOD turning ceremony to mark construction of a “revolutionary” world-first solar, battery, wave and desalination microgrid was held at the HMAS Stirling naval base on Tuesday.

The $7.5 million project is being carried out by Carnegie Clean Energy, which is building a two megawatt solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage microgrid to supply power and water to the base.

Carnegie chief executive Michael Ottaviano said the Garden Island Microgrid Project would be the largest embedded, grid-connected solar and battery microgrid in Australia.

The project would be integrated with existing diesel generators and the Western Power grid to demonstrate off-grid and on-grid functionality of a microgrid and “bumpless” transfer between the two operating modes.

Dr Ottaviano said the project would be “the world’s first demonstration of a solar, battery, wave and desalination microgrid”.

“Carnegie is at the forefront of the design and delivery of renewable microgrid solutions,” he said.

He said renewable microgrids could deliver improved security of supply with clean, reliable power and water.

Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg attended the ceremony and welcomed the start of construction.

“Defence is committed to implementing programs to improve energy efficiency and resilience, reducing costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“Carnegie are pioneers in the renewable energy industry.

“Their 240kW CETO 5 wave energy unit, built and operated on Garden Island between 2012 and 2016, was the world’s first commercial-scale wave array to be connected to a grid.”

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has contributed $2.5 million to the project.

The desalination plant is already operational at the site.

Construction of the solar and battery project is due to be completed by the end of 2017.

Garden Island Microgrid is owned and run by Carnegie.