FIMER partners with Peel Renewable Energy to deliver Australian-First industrial microgrid

In an Australian-first, Western Australia’s Peel Business Park is powering over 50 per cent of its site through a solar, battery and microgrid solution.

Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, WA, is a 1,000 hectare industrial estate so remote that a full power supply connection to the traditional grid does not exist—nor is it an economically feasible option. The solution; Australia’s first-ever industrial estate microgrid using locally generated renewable energy directly from an onsite solar farm, along with a battery energy storage system. Backed by a small grid connection, this innovative microgrid will deliver safe and dependable green energy to estate tenants at an expected energy cost saving of around 30% compared to published tariffs.

What was only less than a year ago a waterlogged paddock, will now be home to a range of local businesses as well as WA’s Food Innovation Precinct. Once operational, tenants in Stage 1 of the project are expected to deliver more than 250 ongoing jobs and contribute $73 million to the local economy each year.

FIMER, in partnership with Peel Renewable Energy, Avora Energy, Sunrise Energy Group, Jarrah Solutions and DevelopmentWA, designed and manufactured the one-of-a-kind solar, battery and microgrid solution. The turn-key package includes a 1.2 MW solar farm, incorporating 2772 bi-facial 440W panels with a NEXTracker single-axis tracking system. It also includes a FIMER skid mounted solar and battery inverter system with medium voltage power distribution system and a 2.5 MWh Saft battery energy storage system.

During the product component selection process, Avora Energy was looking for a combined inverter and battery solution that would elegantly meet all the technical and project requirements. Jeff Brill, Avora Energy’s Managing Director reported that “FIMER’s PV & battery solution was a fully integrated solution that could be delivered on a single skid that ensured easy installation, commissioning and servicing.”

The FIMER solution was fully custom-engineered for the project, with over 12 months of planning across multiple teams in Australia and Europe. The specially made 40” skid incorporates:

  • A FIMER PVS980-58 central inverter
  • A FIMER bi-directional inverter, the PVS980-58BC, including grid-forming-ready technology
  • A hybrid Medium Voltage Transformer
  • Associated switchgear

Aaron Zadeh, FIMER Australia’s Utility-Scale Solar Manager, said of the solution, “We are extremely excited to have been part of this ground-breaking solution. [The FIMER solution] is a unique ‘hybrid inverter station’ that hosts both a solar inverter and battery converter on a single medium voltage station. It uses FIMER’s PVS980 technology and offers a range of benefits to Peel Business Park tenants.”

Aaron continued, “FIMER’s technology can shape how small utility-scale microgrids can thrive in Australia moving forward.”

Utilising the hybrid station with both FIMER inverters enables the technology to share a portion of hardware that brings significant synergies over the system’s life, from a faster installation, higher reliability, and a rapid return on investment as well as long-term support and maintenance benefits.

The 1.2 MW solar farm is serviced by the FIMER PVS-980-58 solar PV inverter, which provides high efficiency, low auxiliary power consumption, innovative air cooling and is designed for outdoor applications.

The FIMER PVS-980-58BC, a bi-directional inverter, will service the 2.5 MWh energy storage solution and will convert, store and discharge excess power from the battery solution in periods of high demand.

The battery system installed and commissioned on the site is a 2.5 MWh Saft solution with a 1.2 MW power rating. Saft’s containerised lithium-ion batteries are equipped with sophisticated temperature management, safety equipment and cloud-enabled controls.

Michael Lippert, Saft’s Market Leader for Energy Storage Solutions, said of the technology, “Our batteries are built with advanced Li-ion technology, which has been proven to provide high efficiency, long-life energy storage for microgrids in harsh environments and under very dynamic charge/discharge operation patterns.”

Michael continued, “We were able to deliver our 2.5 MWh ‘plug-and-play’ battery solution on time and being easily integrated with FIMER’s solution, facilitated fast installation and commissioning.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting supply chains across both domestic and international borders, the FIMER team’s mitigated major delays by remotely training and supporting their engineers to be able to commission the FIMER solution on time.

The solution was delivered in late December 2020 and commissioned in March 2021.

As the estate grows and more tenants move in, the flexibility of the FIMER solution will enable Peel Renewable Energy to expand its renewable energy offering, using either ground or roof-top mounted solar arrays.

Rob Breden, WA General Manager of Peel Renewable Energy, spoke highly of FIMER’s offering and mentioned that “FIMER’s technical solution, quality product offering, local support and deep product knowledge stood out from the start. Since commissioning, we have been impressed with FIMER’s after-sales support and the capability versus nameplate of the installed solar and battery solution”.

The solar generation and battery energy storage solution has an expected annual output of over 3 GWh and will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2,100 tonnes per annum.

FIMER has a wide range of single and three phase inverters and electric vehicle chargers for Australian residential and business customers. Receive an obligation free quote today or discover what residential or business rebates and incentives you may be eligble for in your state.

Produced in partnership with FIMER.