The recently commissioned 7.25-megawatt Renewable Energy Microgrid built on Deakin University’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus will help power research into renewable energy, informing Australia’s transition towards a decarbonised energy future.
Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus is the centre of the University’s advanced manufacturing precinct. The Renewable Energy Microgrid, a $23 million collaboration between Deakin University and AusNet Services, will provide a diversity of research opportunities that can simulate broader community and city environments, providing guidance to network operators and industry. 

To support their research and sustainability target of net zero emissions by 2025, Deakin University engaged Beca to provide engineering services for the design of the Microgrid. Consisting of a 7 MW Solar PV system, 250 kW rooftop solar PV and battery, and a 1 MW/ 2 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), the solar farm, with research facilities and BESS, is located on a 14.5 hectare site at the rear of the campus. Built behind the grid, the solar farm is also integrated into Deakin’s existing 22 kV high voltage network. 
 
We developed the concept design for the Renewable Energy Microgrid, preparing technical specifications for the solar farm, BESS and fibre optic cable system. We also supported Deakin’s Project Delivery and Implementation Group with EPC contractor selection, and were Owners Engineer during the design, build and commissioning phases.

A 250-kW system within the large-scale solar farm was added to allow real time control of the inverter systems, enabling students and researchers to monitor real time generation of solar, to research different panel chemistries. Through this they will also get a better understanding of the economic benefits a microgrid can deliver not only to the campus, by offsetting site demand, but also to the wider community as Australia gradually transitions towards a decarbonised, sustainable energy future.
 
At its peak, the solar farm will make every day better by generating over 12,000,000 kWh of energy per annum. Offseting more than 12,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum, and meeting campus demand whilst reducing the University’s electricity costs, by optimising generation and storage through an advanced microgrid control system.

14.5

Hectare site

7.25 MW

Renewable energy microgrid

12,000 tonnes

Annual GHG emissions offset

Aerial shot of 14.5 hectare 7 megawatt Solar PV farm at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus.
View of 14.5 hectare 7 megawatt Solar PV farm at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus.
View of 14.5 hectare 7 megawatt Solar PV farm at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus.
Our Power Engineers (left-right) Damien Vermeer and Harshal Patel at 14.5 hectare 7 megawatt Solar PV farm - Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus.
Aerial shot of 14.5 hectare 7 megawatt Solar PV farm at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus.

Our Client Says

Beca’s navigation of a complex project, made even more challenging by the array of segregated work packages, was quite an achievement and has to date, supported Deakin in delivering a unique and industry-leading project.

Adam Fletcher

Microgrid Project Manager | Deakin University

Our People

Damien Vermeer

Senior Power Engineer

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Harshal Patel

Associate - Power Engineering

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Email Harshal Patel