Solar microgrid to power WA industrial park

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A solar microgrid will provide electricity for industry at the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, Western Australia. Announced as a first of its kind in Australia in an industrial setting, the clean energy project is expected to create thousands of jobs and reduce power prices in the Park by 30%.

The capacity of solar and battery storage systems has not been disclosed, but it was noted that the estate will use electricity supplemented from the Western Power grid when required. The project will be developed by a consortium led by gas network owner Enwave Australia. As the Peel Business Park grows, the operator will lease roof space from businesses to install solar panels that will feed additional energy into the microgrid.

The Western Australian government said in a statement the microgrid is an innovative solution to the high costs of extending the mains grid into the estate, and would speed up the development of industrial land and development opportunities for the Business Park delivering much needed jobs to the region.

“The Peel Business Park in Nambeelup is being created for forward-thinking businesses and this next generation thinking is reflected in the Park’s proposed microgrid,” said WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan. “The microgrid offers clear incentives for businesses to relocate to the Peel Business Park, helping to drive job creation in the Peel region.”

Designed to house light and general industry, research and development training facilities, agribusiness, transport and logistics companies, Peel Business Park could potentially to inject around $1 billion into the state’s economy each year. Alone the microgrid will it make it possible for 1862 jobs  in the first of the industrial estate’s development, with a further 2,000 local jobs once the park is fully built out.

“This is a smart, sustainable solution for a broader project that will be built on innovation,” said Lands Minister, Ben Wyatt. “The McGowan Government’s vision for the Peel Business Park is a place where business, industry, training, research and development come together, invigorating the Peel region and creating jobs that cannot be achieved without providing a secure and affordable power supply.”

The government said the microgrid would have the potential to be increased in size beyond LandCorp’s current landholding within the estate with potential uptake from interested neighbouring landowners.