Brisbane-based technology company eleXsys Energy, licensed in Australia as Planet Ark Power, has won a $3.5 million federal government grant to build its global manufacturing base in Queensland. The company says it plans to match the amount in the grant, bringing its budget to $7 million in order to construct the new facility.
A spokesperson from eleXsys told pv magazine Australia the new facility will manufacture its key hardware device “from scratch” for domestic and export markets. While eleXsys’ technology is most accurately described as a bundle including both hard and software, the device the company refers to here is effectively a miniaturised static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) device which sits beside a system’s inverter to provide reactive power and control voltage. Roughly the size of two desktop computer towers, the company says the device allows it to fit multiple times the renewable electricity into one-way grids, effectively preventing curtailment of exports using around 1% of the solar system’s power.
Thanks to the grant provided by the federal government as part of its Modern Manufacturing Initiative, eleXsys will be able to manufacture this hardware component in its base of Queensland. “Building our own advanced manufacturing facility will support more than 80 local jobs and is crucial to meeting the increasing demand for our eleXsys technology,” eleXsys Energy Executive Director Richard Romanowski said.
The company says it has now begun its site identification process, and expects the facility to be operational by the end of 2022.
Ikea microgrid – a demonstration of eleXsys’ promise to unlock the C&I segment
eleXsys Energy, trading under Planet Ark Power, is currently developing Australia’s largest grid-connected microgrid atop a vast Ikea store adjacent to Adelaide Airport.
The vision for the project is to transform the Ikea into a “mini power station”, acting as living proof of its claim that the eleXsys technology can revolutionise the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment by removing the pesky and project hindering issue of curtailment.
The company says its technology has allowed the $8 million Ikea microgrid to become not only reality, but six times the size of what could otherwise connect to South Australia’s notoriously congested grid. Ikea’s 1.2 MWp rooftop solar array has already been installed, with its 700 kW carpark and 3.36 MW/3.45 MWh CATL battery energy storage system to be energised by April next year, supplying more than the store’s entire annual electricity needs. The system will be managed by the EleXsys platform, which Romanowski claims can allow PV and battery projects to be expanded as much as tenfold.
“The eleXsys solution is a prime example of the clever Australian innovation we will need to meet the Morrison government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050,” MP Trevor Evans, the federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, said of the grant.
“I am delighted to see these vital funds going towards supporting local manufacturing and highly-skilled jobs.”
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