Hot on the heels of announcing the NSW Emerging Energy Program that plans to dramatically scale back coal and transition to renewables by 2040, the New South Wales Government has announced plans to turn hospitals and schools into mini power plants.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the New South Wales Energy Minister Don Harwin said the government would spend $20 million to install up to 900 smart batteries on government buildings. This would create a 13-megawatt virtual power plant, working by combining solar rooftop and battery installations into a single unit.
The hospitals and schools chosen for the plan are some of the biggest users of electricity, so the plan hopes to alleviate pressure on the grid.
“By pairing smart battery systems and rooftop solar, participating schools and hospitals can lower their electricity costs by up to $40,000 a year and at the same time strengthen the security of the grid in peak events and during energy emergencies,” Mr Harwin told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Electricity bill savings will be achieved from avoiding peak electricity charges and making energy from the batteries available to the grid, particularly in times of high demand.”
The combined electricity use of state-owned sites equates to around three per cent of NSW’s daily energy consumption.
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