Endeavour to deliver unique community microgrid in NSW

Female resident chats with female Endeavour Energy employee while looking at Tesla Powerwall home battery (microgrid)
Image: Endeavour Energy

Around 100 homes in Bawley Point and Kioloa, 250km south of Sydney, have been equipped with subsidised solar panels and batteries to help create the first community microgrid of its kind in New South Wales, according to Endeavour Energy.

The two picturesque coastal towns on the New South Wales south coast are set to power themselves independently during power outages ensuring the resilience of their communities during storms and bushfires.

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The project is on track to be operational by the end of the year, providing a reliable, stand-alone, and renewable electricity supply while reducing the number of power outages.

The $8 million community microgrid includes contributions from the Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, Endeavour Energy and local residents.

The community microgrid will act as a self-contained energy system, harnessing electricity from renewable sources like rooftop solar, home-based batteries, and a 3MW grid connected battery, strategically positioned between the two communities. This configuration empowers the microgrid to operate autonomously during outages, forming an island of power for the community.

Endeavour Energy CEO Guy Chalkley said the microgrid would lead the way in making isolated communities more resilient while laying the foundation for future renewable energy solutions.

“These two towns, like many other rural and regional communities across Australia, are vulnerable to catastrophic weather events. The grid independence provided by this microgrid becomes essential for their survival and safeguarding our regional communities,” he said.

“What makes this microgrid the first of its kind is the customer centric and integrated approach to planning—we can call upon a customer’s energy resources such as rooftop solar and batteries to add resilience to the network and the community’s power supply.

“We have co-designed this innovative solution in partnership with the local community and are pleased that it will serve as a blueprint for other communities, empowering them to embrace renewable energy and attain self-sufficiency during times of crisis.”

Liza Butler, NSW Member for South Coast, commended Endeavour Energy for its extensive collaboration with the local community over the past 18 months to establish the microgrid.

“As the Chair of the Community Microgrid committee, I worked alongside Endeavour Energy and the community for over three years to get the microgrid up and running. This project is an example of what we can achieve when we work together. The microgrid linking Bawley Point and Kioloa is the first of its kind in NSW, and I look forward to working with other villages across the South Coast to bring more microgrids online,” she said.

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“As a local resident who experienced the last devastating bushfires, I know first-hand the impact of being left without electricity. In the Bawley Point and Kioloa area, being without electricity means that you have no telecommunications, and as we rely solely on tank water, it also means that when you have no power, you have no water.

“This microgrid will be a huge success for the region, providing us with the renewable energy solutions we need to keep our communities resilient.”

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