The soon-to-be revamped South Australian Produce Market is also soon to be powered by the sun, according to a government announcement at the start of February. The facility will benefit from a massive solar and storage battery hybrid that will save the stallholders more than $500,000 a year in electricity costs.
The South Australia government has granted $2.5 million in funds to help with the construction of the 2.5MW solar array. This array, as well as the 4.2MW of Tesla battery storage and a 2.5MW onsite diesel generator will keep the lights on at the Pooraka fruit and vegetable wholesaler facility.
The project, which will cost around $10.5 million in total, will generate enough power to serve the equivalent of around 4,500 homes, while feeding any excess electricity back to the grid, driving power costs down even further.
Slashing greenhouse emissions
The microgrid won’t just save stallholders more than half a million a year, it’ll also cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2,637 tonnes annually. This project will become the state’s largest single commercial solar system and it was announced on the same day as the state’s plans to build a 50,000 home-strong virtual power plant with a network of 5kW rooftop solar arrays and Tesla Powerwalls.
This $800 million project will deliver 250MW of capacity and 650MW of battery storage to give the grid stability and resilience against outages, as well as extra capacity during times of high demand.
Up and running by the end of the year
The South Australian Produce Market’s microgrid should be fully operational towards the end of 2018 and its construction will create around 40 jobs. The solar power generation and energy storage facilities will be monitored and controlled by a system developed by the energy management company AZZO. AZZO, based in Adelaide, is the company which designed and implemented the cloud-based energy monitoring system at the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2017.