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Queensland council saves $1.9m in grid costs from single Tesla Powerpack

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One Step Off The Grid

Aerial view of the Round Mountain Reservoir solar array. Image supplied.

A Queensland local government council has installed what is believed to be Australia’s first off-grid solar and battery storage system to include a Tesla Powerpack, as part of a micro-grid powered “electro-chlorinator” that will help maintain local drinking water quality 24 hours a day.

Logan City, which is located south of the Brisbane metropolitan area, said on Wednesday that it had turned to solar power and Tesla’s commercial-scale battery technology to find a reliable, safe water disinfection system in the city’s fast growing south west corner.

The solution – delivered by the Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance and solar installer CSR Bradford – combined a 95kWH Tesla Powerpack with 323 PV panels at the site of the relatively new 20 Megalitre Round Mountain Reservoir, which provides drinking water for residents in Flagstone, Yarrabilba, North Maclean, Spring Mountain and Woodhill..

Already, council says the off-grid system has delivered local government a capital cost saving of $1.9 million and operational cost savings of around $50,000 per year, as well as a safe water supply that will benefit 200,000 people by the time the region is fully developed.

“This is set to be one of the fastest growing areas in South-East Queensland over the next two decades but with that growth comes the issue of building assets larger than are needed right now,” said Logan City Mayor Luke Smith.

“We were concerned until demand increases, water stored in the network may age and not stay at the highest possible quality.

“The reservoir site is not connected to mains power or accessible via a sealed road so an innovative approach was required to maintain water quality from the reservoir.”

Mayor Smith said a number of options were investigated, with a solar powered electro-chlorination facility confirmed as the preferred technology. And it is not the only council coming to that conclusion.

A number of other local governments around Australia, particularly in regional areas, are turning to solar and battery storage to help power their water supply and treatment infrastructure, which is notoriously energy hungry.

Just this week, NSW’s Goulburn Council began weighing up the benefits of installing solar PV arrays on council owned water stores and waste treatment plants, to reduce its carbon footprint and offset rising power costs.

And in Victoria, North East Water announced plans to install solar and battery storage at its water treatment plant in the regional town of Yackandandah, with a tender for the job launched in March.

CSR Bradford Business Manager, Ashleigh O’Brien said the Logan City project was the first off-grid commercial solar and battery system in Australia powered by Tesla Powerpack, and showcased the growing potential for Australian assets to achieve energy security through solar and battery technology.

“CSR Bradford is incredibly proud to be playing its part in providing a solution which will see solar and battery technology play a greater role for commercial assets” she said.

“The electro-chlorinator is powered by 323 solar panels and a 95kWh capacity Tesla Powerpack, that will help provide water quality 24 hours a day”.

“With commercial power prices soaring and homeowners increasingly struggling to pay their bills, CSR Bradford stands ready to demonstrate how improvements in battery technology and solar can empower asset owners, bring down prices, and safeguard them against the risk of shortages in the electricity market.”

“The project involved the Bradford team working with Tesla to design and install a solar PV and commercial battery solution which will work harmoniously in response to the site’s real-time energy requirements, and its success signals further potential to roll this technology out across the country.”

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.  

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  • Ian

    Well done to those people. Every project like this adds to the data-base for similar projects. Interesting the use of an electro-chlorinator. What’s the feed stock for the chlorinator? Is it salt similar to a swimming pool chlorinator or is it hydrochloride acid? Do they use this solar array and battery for water pumping to and from the reservoir?

  • thetruthwillsetyoufree

    excellent work,

  • Roger Brown

    Logan City council also have solar panels on their Libraries and on their Recycle centre roof . The dump has had a Gas plant for years on site .