Enwave Wins Bid for South Australia District Energy System

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Enwave has won a bid to install a district energy system that incorporates one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays for the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city.

district energy

Creative Commons photo provided by The Lead South Australia

Enwave Energy plans to invest about $40 million over a 50-year period on photovoltaics, battery storage, smart technologies and future electrical assets at the site, according to Enwave Australia CEO Cameron Evans.

“We take a long-term view of these projects, which enable us to build our return over a long time,” he said.

The district energy project will include 20,000 solar PV panels, with a 6 MW capacity, and eventually battery storage.

Evans noted that the district’s on-site power offers it greater energy reliability, along with the ability to secure competitively priced energy.

When grid prices are high, the district energy system will draw from its internal energy sources. When they are low, it will take electricity from the central grid. It will also use grid power when the district’s solar panels are not producing enough energy.

Siemens will provide smart network design services for the project, which also will include water recycling and chillers and boilers.

Businesses at Tonsley will have the choice to buy their electricity from either Enwave or another energy retailer. 

The project is designed to be expanded as the district grows. It now includes more than 30 businesses and more than 150 members of the two co-working spaces, the Flinders University School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics and TAFE SA. About 1400 people are employed at the site.

Enwave expects the solar to be in operation by the second half of 2019.

Renewal SA, which manages Tonsley on behalf of the South Australian Government, selected Enwave through a competitive solicitation.

Owned by Brookfield Infrastructure, which designs, builds, owns and operates water, gas and energy networks, Enwave Australia has developed similar district energy services at Sydney Central Park and Sydney Airport.

Track news about district energy system projects. Follow us on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.