Paragon and Our Energy have developed an innovative energy supply architecture. Households will be largely autonomous for electrical energy, empowered by utilising Solar PV and energy storage, while retaining a traditional grid supply for periods of inclement weather. The solar community will also be able to share excess energy as local energy trades at better than market rates between households, in addition to earning credits for clean energy exported to the wider grid.
The community has a 100kW transformer installed on site, connected to the Essential Energy High Voltage distribution network, supplying a central Main Switchboard and ‘Gateway’ smart-metering point. Each household will be supplied via Low Voltage underground sub-mains to supply pillars, located on community land adjacent to each house lot. An Embedded Network is created behind the Gateway meter, enabling local energy flows between households.
The Lingerwood Community entity will contract with a solar friendly Electricity Retailer in the National Electricity Market (NEM) to supply the Gateway with energy as needed, and to manage the system to sell export clean energy for the benefit of the community.
Paragon will supply and install a 10 kW Solar PV and inverter system at each of the 10 houses, and a 150 kWh Central Battery. The aim is for the community to be largely autonomous in normal weather conditions and able to stand alone during short-term (eg overnight) grid outages. The community will still be able to draw from the wider grid for energy in periods of inclement weather.
The distributed Solar PV Systems and Central Energy Storage System will be designed and programmed to suit community needs, utilising tier 1 products and the trading expertise of our retail partner. The system will have the capacity to deliver back-up supply to essential circuits in the event of a wider grid outage or ‘blackout’.
The Lingerwood Community entity will apply to the Australian Energy Regulator for an exemption, allowing it to operate as the Exempt Embedded Network Service Provider. In this role, the Lingerwood Community entity will ensure beneficial arrangements for the on-supply of electricity to community residents. It will contract with a solar-friendly authorised electricity retailer to supply energy to the Gateway meter, trade solar energy and ancillary battery capability in the wholesale market and manage the on-supply retailing and billing arrangements to residents within the Lingerwood Community at below market rates.
To facilitate the energy billing, in addition to the Gateway meter connecting to the wider grid, each house will have a remotely read, utility grade smart-meter installed.
The 11 smart meters will capture the energy flows and the data will be used for billing purposes on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The establishment of a community energy trading solution will allow the Lingerwood Community to directly benefit from the value of community generation (including battery storage output) which is exported and traded in the wholesale market.
Managing consumption patterns and effectively utilising battery storage output to export to the market at optimal times will deliver the best value from the community generation and battery storage systems. The ultimate goal is to use the sustainable community energy model to deliver the lowest possible cost of energy to the community.