Monash secures DELWP funding to help unlock microgrid market in Victoria

Monash successfully secures Victorian government funding for Net Zero Initiative's Microgrid project.

Scott Ferraro, Program Director, Net Zero Initiative, Steve Dimopoulos, MP Oakleigh, Professor Edward Buckingham, Director of Engagement, Monash Business School, Chloe Munro AO, Professorial Fellow, Monash University, Colin Gillam, redT energy

Monash University sets out to tackle yet another challenge on its path to reaching net zero emissions for its Australian campuses: ensuring that customers and businesses benefit from the transition to a 100% renewable powered future.

Today, Monash University is partnering once more with the Victorian government as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Microgrid demonstration program.

Local Member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos announced this morning that Monash successfully secured $441,450 for the development of the $981,000 Microgrid Electricity Market Operator (MEMO) project.

“The traditional electricity grid is changing to one that is becoming more decentralised, with more embedded generation and more demand side control.” said Chloe Munro, Professorial Fellow at Monash University, former Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator and member of the Finkel Review panel. “As microgrids are developed to link these resources across neighbourhoods, how will they be operated and who will ensure that it’s worthwhile for customers to participate?”

This is precisely the current gap in the market this project is seeking to address. It will establish an entity responsible for the commercial operation of the Monash Microgrid and develop a model for others to replicate across Victoria.

“To fully realise the value of clean technology investment and drive the transition to zero carbon, secure and affordable energy, we will need to unlock the benefits of aggregation to consumers served by the microgrid and also to the operation of electricity system as a whole”, Munro continues.

Beyond the demonstration of the technology underpinning Microgrid ecosystems, the opportunity for Victoria in the transition to the zero carbon economy will be the creation of new businesses that enable a safe, reliable and affordable transition for Victorians.

“With challenges come opportunities”, said Ken Sloan, Monash Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Enterprise. “Demonstration projects that showcase how this can be achieved both technically and through defining the business models that can lead to new markets and jobs will be key.”

Monash will work with its leading researchers and industry partners to make recommendations to inform government and regulators on how to adequately reward the various services that Microgrid operators can provide and enable new actors to enter the market. This will result in a roadmap for new microgrid business establishment in Victoria.

The project builds on the Monash Microgrid currently under deployment at Monash’s largest campus in Clayton, for which $2.9 million of funding was awarded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) to Monash and industry partner Indra last week.

This is all part of the award winning Monash Net Zero Initiative led from Monash’s Buildings and Property Division. To find out more, visit Net Zero Initiative.