What

In Mallacoota, the Community Microgrids and Sustainable Energy Program will deliver an advanced microgrid using solar panels, batteries, and other smart energy technologies. It will also increase the duration of the town’s diesel generator supply to provide back-up power for up to five days if Mallacoota becomes isolated from the grid.

The aim is to provide:

  • Further integration of the existing network battery to provide back-up power
  • Solar systems with batteries and generator back-ups for essential service sites such as fire stations, police stations, medical clinics, as well as schools, public halls, and other community centres
  • Solar systems with batteries at commercial and industrial sites
  • Efficient hot water heat pumps for residential properties
  • Increased diesel generation capability
  • Smart energy control systems to make best use of locally available electricity.

Types of Systems

An advanced microgrid builds on the existing Mallacoota battery, to be a localised and dynamic combination of powerlines, solar photovoltaic systems, battery storage, efficient hot water systems and considered placement of diesel generators. Smart energy control devices will be included to coordinate demand and supply.

Households, community buildings, and businesses will become important local partners in the stable, secure, and resilient local power supply.

These works will build on the performance of the existing township battery, which reduced the number of township outages during June and July 2021 on five separate occasions.

Microgrids are typically developed for three main reasons:

  1. Improve reliability and resilience of the electricity supply
  2. Support energy security
  3. Reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability

An ‘islandable’ microgrid can operate when the mains supply of electricity is cut to the town either due to a planned outage, fault, or an emergency event. Increasing renewable generation and storage systems can progressively enable a microgrid and reduce dependence on diesel generators. This shift enables community power needs to be met by local generation.

Essential Services sites may include facilities such as Fire Stations, Police Stations, medical clinics, as well as schools, public halls, and other community centres.

In recognising the importance of robust alternative energy systems on key public buildings, the Community Microgrids and Sustainable Energy Program will be subsidising relevant systems at essential services sites.

Systems may include on-site rooftop solar panels, a battery and/or a diesel generator to provide power for essential service sites during a network outage.

Selection of the most suitable sites will be guided by community and local authorities.

Subsidised solar and battery solutions will be designed for medium and large businesses to provide a resilient power supply during network outages.

These sites will be selected to serve as hubs for larger groups of people in the event of a sustained outage or emergency. Equally, they could be businesses with large public access areas, air conditioning, catering facilities and the ability to provide toilets and showers. Fuel supply sites, schools, and banks may also be considered.

Heat pump technology offers a highly energy efficient alternative to traditional electric resistance water heaters. In addition to achieving savings on individual electricity bills, heat pumps can also reduce the overall electricity demand across a town.

This will help the Mallacoota Area Grid Storage (MAGS) system to provide long duration power during extended power outages.

Although a full analysis is yet to be finalised, a number of additional homes may choose to receive a device (Mondo Ubi) that will enable certain loads to be switched on or off in ways that improve the performance of the local electricity grid, with no noticeable impact on the property owners.

These devices could be used to turn on or off pool pumps, traditional electric storage hot water systems or slab heating.

The Community Microgrids and Sustainable Energy Program - Mallacoota builds on the broader energy transition already taking place in Mallacoota, including the high uptake of rooftop solar systems and the Mallacoota Area Grid Storage (MAGS), also known as the Mallacoota “Big Battery”.

The Program will extend the diesel supply of the MAGS project, which will mean that the system can provide power supply to Mallacoota for up to five days, rather than one.

Why

The aim is to improve the energy resilience of Mallacoota and build a road map for future energy innovation to support local people and community life. Additionally, the Program will provide improved energy certainty to the community.

Where

The Program Team is seeking input from the Mallacoota community on the location of and infrastructure within the specified area (refer map below). In order to be part of an advanced microgrid for Mallacoota, the systems proposed must be located within the areas of the town that are currently supported by the existing battery as highlighted in the map.

Map of Mallacoota with highlighted section over the main township where a future microgrid could support the current battery location.

Map of Mallacoota - Highlighted section depicts area supported by current battery.

Who

Preparation for implementing this project has included consultation with the following groups:

  • East Gippsland Shire Council
  • Mallacoota Sustainable Energy Group (MSEG)
  • Mallacoota and District Recovery Association (MADRA)
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Victoria Police
  • Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) and Surf Rescue

How

The Program is seeking the following support from the Mallacoota community to roll-out the advanced microgrid and support increased energy resilience for the town.

You can provide input through the Expression of Interest and Survey on this page:

Expression of Interest (EOI):

The EOI can be submitted by community members for subsidised energy systems, which may include the following:

  • 3 businesses within the identified area to sign up for a business-scale subsidised solar and battery system (closed 30 November 2021).
  • 4 essential services buildings within the identified area to sign up for a subsidised solar, battery and generator backup system (closed 30 November 2021).
  • Up to 100 residents within the identified area to sign up to a subsidised energy efficient heat pump hot water system (open until 28 January 2022).
  • A (yet to be finalised) number of subsidised smart energy controllers (open until 28 January 2022).

Submit EOI at: Join Mallacoota’s renewable energy program | Mondo

EOI applicants will be contacted within two weeks to discuss the Program and potential solutions, however there is no obligation to proceed. If suitable, the AusNet Representative will talk through technology and pricing options and you may then elect to proceed to the quote phase. The quote phase will not occur until the first quarter of 2022.

The information submitted in the EOI will comply with the AusNet Services Privacy Policy which can be viewed at: Privacy (ausnetservices.com.au)


Please note: Submitting a Survey does not constitute submitting an Expression of Interest for a subsidised energy system. To submit an Expression of Interest, please see the EOI information above and follow the link to Mondo’s website.

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you, in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws. For more information read DELWP's Information Privacy Policy at:

www.delwp.vic.gov.au/privacy

DELWP or its contracted service providers may use your contact details under confidentiality agreements to survey you about your experience with DELWP.

Your submission has been collected by DELWP to inform the 'Have your say Survey' for the Community Microgrids and Sustainable Energy Program (CMSEP). Your response will be made available to AusNet Services and be used to inform business sites and essential service sites for energy systems; to understand your potential interest in a subsided solar and battery system, and to get your view on the 'electricity supply of the future.' AusNet Services may contact you following your response to the Survey.

The views and experiences of the community are critical to the success of the CMSEP. Stakeholder input received from the Survey will help to achieve the aims of the program.

You will be asked to confirm the following when you respond to the Survey and provide comments.

I agree to my submission being made available to AusNet Services for the purpose of the CMSEP.

On completion of the Survey, DELWP may do the following with your submission:

  • Share a copy of your submission with AusNet Services (with or without your name and organisation).
  • Share a copy of your submission on the Engage Victoria or DELWP website (without your name and organisation).
  • Make your submission available to other Victorian Government agencies (with or without your name and organisation.
  • Quote directly from your submission in the review documentation (without your name and organisation).
  • Publish the contents of your submission on a Victorian Government webstie (without your name and organisation), which is accessible worldwide and allows any person to view your submission. Your submission may remain on external servers, even once DELWP has removed it from the Victorian Government website.

You have the right to access and correct your personal information. Requests for access should be sent to the Manager Privacy, PO Box 500 East Melbourne 3002 or contact by phone on (03) 9637 8697.

The DELWP Privacy Policy can be accessed online at:

http://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/5464/DELWP-Privacy-Policy.pdf