Sydney, Australia, 5 August 2018: An energy production and trading scheme designed for the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide will incorporate one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays, to provide energy to businesses and homes in the precinct, Enwave Australia announced in a Press communiqué. The South Australian project will be delivered by Enwave Energy, a subsidiary of Enwave Australia, the communiqué said.
Cameron Evans, CEO, Enwave Australia, said Enwave Energy will invest about USD 40 million over a 50-year period for photovoltaics, battery storage, smart technologies and future electrical assets. The District Energy Scheme will use energy generated by about 20,000 solar PV panels installed on the expansive eight-hectare roof of the former Mitsubishi factory building and adjoining TAFE SA building, the communiqué said. A battery storage solution will be added to the 6MW solar array, when demand for the service increases; this is likely to be when the Tonsley site grows to include residential housing and other industries, the communiqué further said. Businesses at Tonsley have the choice to buy their electricity from either Enwave Energy or an energy retailer of their choice, the communiqué added.
Evans said, “We’ll have an existing connection with the grid as well as having some onsite generation, primarily utilising solar PV, and that enables us to draw on either the grid or our own energy generated on site, depending upon the time of day and the amount of energy available.”
Evans said the District Energy Scheme would also integrate a range of smart technologies and networks to monitor and regulate the system. “A smart management system enables us to optimise the time at which we either take energy from the existing grid or we utilise the generated energy from the site or when we utilise our storage,” he added.
Other components of the District Energy Scheme will include recycled water and thermal energy utilities facilitated by on-site infrastructure, Evans said. “We have an agreement with one of the local councils to take storm water, which we’ll then treat, turn into recycled water and reticulate to a number of customers in the precinct for non-potable uses. Similarly, for thermal energy, we’ll provide some chillers and boilers, which will enable us to reticulate it in the form of either hot or cold water to be used by buildings to ensure efficient processes around the way in which they are cooled or heated,” Evans added.
The company is expected to establish a five-person office at the Tonsley precinct by October 2018 and commence the installation of the solar array and key assets next year, the communiqué said. The solar system is expected to be fully operational by the second half of 2019, the communiqué further said. Tonsley is managed by Renewal SA, on behalf of the South Australian Government, the communiqué added.
Mark Devine, General Manager Property, Renewal SA, said the Enwave proposal would deliver on Tonsley’s commitment to become a climate smart district. “The scheme will help consolidate Tonsley as a hub for renewable energy investment and innovation and help to attract more businesses keen to establish in an environmentally sustainable innovation district,” Devine said. The communiqué said the scheme highlights South Australia’s leadership in the adoption of renewable energy, as it leads the nation in wind energy and rooftop solar, with renewable sources accounting for almost 50% of the electricity generated in the state.