First community mini-grid

Australia’s first community mini-grid was officially launched in North East Victoria earlier this month. The mini-grid is the result of a partnership between Mondo Power, AusNet Services and Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) for the Yackandandah community.

The pioneering community energy project involves 169 homes and combines rooftop solar systems, battery storage and Mondo Ubi – the smart energy monitoring and management system powering the mini grid.

The mini-grid provides information to all participating households on how much solar energy they are generating, how much the whole community is generating and how they are progressing towards their 100 per cent renewable goal.

Formed in 2014, TRY is a 100 per cent volunteer run community group with the admirable goal of powering its community with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022. In 2016 AusNet Services began a partnership with TRY to explore energy solutions to help the community achieve its goal.

Mark Judd who is Manager Energy Solutions for Mondo Power which specialises in advanced energy management solutions for commercial and community partners with a focus on distributed energy offerings described the project as “a beacon for what a town can achieve with a bold vision and real drive”.

“The technology put in place also lays the foundation for what could soon enable households to share energy directly with one another across the community,” he said. “The future for renewable energy in Australia’s regional and rural towns is bright.”

Together the community members are changing Yackandandah’s energy future and the broader Australian energy landscape.

Speakers at the event in Yackandandah included prominent renewables Advocate and Smart Energy Patron Simon Corbell, Federal MP Cathy McGowan, Indigo Shire Mayor Jenny O’Connor, TRY’s Matt Grogan and representatives of AusNet Services and its independent subsidiary Mondo Power.

 AusNet Services is Victoria’s largest energy delivery service business, owning and operating more than $11 billion of electricity and gas transmission and distribution assets and moving energy to more than 1.3 million residential and business customers.