Independent power producer Zenith Energy has acquired its first non-resources asset in Peel Renewable Energy, taking ownership of WA’s first renewable industrial microgrid.
The acquisition will see Zenith take ownership and operational control of the Peel Renewable Microgrid, a vertically integrated generation, distribution, and retail business, supplying power to the Peel Business Park, a new industrial estate south of Perth being developed by DevelopmentWA, Western Australia’s State Government land developer.
It includes the 22kv electricity distribution network, the current 1.2MW solar array and 2.5MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as well as the smart grid connection to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
The onsite renewable generation and battery storage assets are expected to grow to upwards of 50MW over the next decade, matching the growth in the development area and customer numbers at the Peel Business Park.
Managing Director Hamish Moffat says the acquisition is the first step in Zenith’s diversification strategy, positioning the company at the forefront of Australia’s energy transition.
“Peel Renewable Energy represents an exciting opportunity to enter the urban microgrid segment in WA and leverages our knowledge of islanded generation infrastructure.”
“We believe there is a growing movement toward the establishment of modular, distributed energy systems, as opposed to centralised power generation requiring long transmission lines, and WA is well placed to be a leader in this space.”
Mr Moffat says there’s a growing interest in microgrids Australia wide, with off-grid and decentralised power generation offering a range of advantages;
- Reliability: Locally generated power no longer requires long transmission lines, which offers increased reliability and security of supply. This is particularly beneficial during events such as storms, cyclones or bushfires, where damage to network infrastructure can have significant impacts to all connected customers.
- Remoteness: Where remote locations do not have access to adequate traditional power infrastructure, microgrids can be deployed and local power delivered to almost any remote customer. This offers the potential for secure power generation to be offered to locations and communities where this may not have been possible in the past, opening up further economic opportunities.
- Cost Benefits to Customers: The establishment of microgrids can reduce the need for significant capital investment in larger scale power generation infrastructure, which in turn reduces costs for customers.
- Increased Renewable Penetration: Greenfield microgrid developments have greater scope to incorporate renewables than traditional grid connected developments.
Existing arrangements between Peel Renewable Energy and DevelopmentWA will continue, including the long-term contract to provide electrical infrastructure and renewable energy supply and services to customers in the Peel Business Park.