Thermal storage company breaks ground on its renewable agriculture facility in NSW

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Startup Graphite Energy has begun construction on the first stage of its renewable agriculture facility in central New South Wales, named the Lake Sustainable Energy Precinct. The $29 million facility is a collaboration between Graphite Energy and Cygnus Ag, which appears to be a local Lake Cargelligo agriculture company, and includes other stakeholders from industry, research and government.

Graphite Energy doesn’t appear to have been on the scene for very long, but according to the company it has developed a proprietary thermal energy storage system for the decarbonisation of industrial and manufacturing operations. It is not clear yet how exactly this technology will work within the facility, but presumably it will store solar energy. 

Of the facility, to date Graphite Energy has noted the masterplan includes 5 MW of solar to be combined with “multiple forms of integrated energy storage,” including batteries, thermal energy storage for heating, cooling and drying, and hydrogen for diesel substitution.

The project aims to be a replicable pilot for Australia and abroad to demonstrate how renewable energy and agriculture can coexist, “using industry advancements to enable renewable energy sources without forgoing farmland,” Graphite Energy says.

Image: Graphite Energy

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