New Microgrid for South Australia, Storage for San Diego, and Off-Grid Electricity for Uganda

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South Australia microgrid to provide secure power for transmission network

Australia continues to be a mecca for microgrid projects with another announced today, this one for Electranet, South Australia’s principal transmission network service provider.

The microgrid is being installed to ensure stable power supply in an area with abundant renewable energy. Wind farms serve the bulk of demand in South Australia. The state — and all of Australia — also is seeing a rise in use of solar.

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Courtesy of ABB

The project will serve the Dalrymple substation on the Yorke Peninsula, according to an announcement by ABB, which is supplying a 30-MW battery, a microgrid controller, a dry-type transformer, switchgear, and engineering, operations and maintenance support.

Not only will the microgrid improve the overall reliability of power delivery, but it will also ‘value stack’ — create the opportunity to supply multiple market services. Among other things, it will provide fast-acting power response and support increased power transfer with the interconnectors to Victoria.

In the event of a transmission line outage, the islanded microgrid will work together with the existing 90-MW Wattle Point wind farm and distributed rooftop solar to provide uninterrupted power supply until grid power is restored.

The project is funded in part by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is being delivered by the Engineering and Procurement Company and Consolidated Power Projects (CPP) working jointly with ABB. ElectraNet owns the installation. AGL will provide daily operations.

San Diego utility wins approval of 83.5 MW of energy storage

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently won state regulatory approval for five new energy storage projects totaling 83.5 MW and one demand response program equaling 4.5 MW.

The energy storage, in the form of lithium-ion batteries, is being installed to improve grid reliability and integrate more renewables.

Contracts for the projects are going to RES America, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Fluence, Powin Energy, and Enel Green Power. OhmConnect will administer the demand response program.

Approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the energy storage projects are detailed below.

  • Renewable Energy Systems: 30 MW/120 MWh in San Diego, expected to be complete by December 2019
  • Advanced Microgrid Solutions: 4 MW/16 MWh lithium-ion in San Juan Capistrano, expected to be complete by December 2019
  • Fluence (a Siemens and AES partnership): 40 MW/160 MWh in Fallbrook, expected to be complete by March 2021
  • Powin Energy: 6.5 MW/26 MWh in Escondido, expected to be complete by June 2021
  • Enel Green Power:  3 MW/12 MWh in Poway, expected to be complete by December 2021
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Winch Energy kiosk in Bunjako Island, Uganda

Off-grid energy and Internet all-in-one for Uganda

Off-grid renewable energy operator Winch Energy and African ISP WayAfrica are installing remote solar kiosks in rural Uganda to provide broadband communications

Under a pilot program, the containerized kiosks will be made available to five communities in Bunjako Island, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda, which has a population of 20,000 people.

This pilot is the proof of concept for a larger project of more than 250 hubs and remote power units to be installed in rural villages. The hubs can bring electricity, wi-fi, water pumping and cold storage services to households, schools, health centers and businesses across the country.

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About 80 percent of Uganda lacks reliable electricity and 65 percent lacks Internet access, according to Tom Wrigley, director of Winch Energy Group and Winch Energy Uganda.

“The objective of this pilot is to demonstrate the commercial and economic sustainability of the ‘multi-service in a box’ approach, which will help us execute our broader plan of rapidly scaling our technology deployment, alongside key public stakeholders,” he said. “We are in discussions with local companies to manufacture and assemble our technology on Ugandan soil which will help boost local economy, open up export opportunities, transfer key skills to local personnel and shorten the delivery time to customers.”

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two 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.

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