Solar microgrid to power SA produce market

The South Australian Produce Market will install 1600 solar panels and a large lithium-ion battery at its Pooraka facility.

The $10.5 million microgrid will comprise of a 4.2MWh lithium-ion battery, 2.5MW solar PV system and 2.5MW onsite generator and at full capacity will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4500 homes.

It is understood to be the largest private solar PV system in South Australia.

SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis the microgrid will support jobs in the food industry by saving stallholders more than half a million dollars a year off their power bills.

“Pairing solar panels with batteries not only reduces power costs for businesses, it also reduces demand on the grid, putting downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“South Australia is at the forefront of advances in the deployment of this technology and projects like this one at the SA Produce Market demonstrate how much can be saved by investing in solar and batteries.”

The system will supply all of the wholesale market’s energy needs and will also feed surplus power into the broader grid, relieving peak demand and putting downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians.

The project will cut greenhouse gas emissions from the site by 2637 tonnes each year and it is anticipated market stallholders will save up to $5.5 million in the next 10 years compared to the current retail offers available in SA.

SA Produce Market CEO Angelo Demasi said the project would not have been possible without the $2.5 million Energy Productivity Program grant and support of the South Australian Government.

“We thank the South Australian Government for the funding and support to ensure we can provide environmentally sustainable energy to our stallholders,” Mr Demasi said.

“We want to ensure we can continue to provide affordable fresh produce on a local and global platform and this initiative means we can do it with an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manor using an innovative solution.”

The microgrid will be fully operational by late 2018 and will create about 40 jobs during construction.