Australia’s Biggest Microgrid…District Energy in Vermont?…Rhombus to Supply Microgrid

Oct. 4, 2016
Horizon Power announces Australia’s biggest microgrid…District energy for Burlington, Vermont?…U. of St Thomas microgrid selects Rhombus inverters
Horizon Power announces Australia’s biggest microgrid

Australian utility Horizon Power says it will build Australia’s biggest microgrid, which will supply more than half the electricity for Onslow, a coastal town in Western Australia.

The project will include solar, battery storage, a 5.25-MW gas-fired plant and a new transmission line and substation. The project will be designed to reduce use of the natural gas plant as the renewable energy contribution expands.

Chevron will provide a financial contribution for Horizon Power to construct the power infrastructure under a state development agreement.

Horizon plans to start work on the project in early 2017 and expects to complete it in early 2018. More details are here.

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District energy for Burlington, Vermont?

The city of Burington, Vermont — which describes itself as the nation’s first city to go 100 percent renewable — is now considering the addition of a district energy system.

The Burlington Electric Department, Vermont Gas Systems and other partners are exploring the idea with Corix Utilities.

Burlington Electric’s McNeil Generating Station, a 50-MW biomass generating facility, would provide waste heat for the system.

Community stakeholders have pushed for district energy in the city for several years. In 2014, Burlington Electric and partners engaged Ever-Green Energy to complete a district energy feasibility study. The Ever-Green report concluded that the project was technically feasible, but a wise choice at the time given low natural gas prices and other facctors.

Since then, however, Mayor Miro Weinberger, has tasked Burlington Electric with exploring the possibility more carefully.

“Without the strong commitment from both the Town Center and Vermont Gas, our options to create a roadmap for district energy in Burlington were becoming slim,” said Neale Lunderville, who was appointed general manager of Burlington Electric Department in July 2014.

“By looking at the new development’s whole energy picture – that is, looking at both thermal and electric needs through the lens of new technologies – we’ve been able to fuel momentum toward making district energy a reality,” he added.

Other partners in the project are the Burlington Town Center, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the University of Vermont, and the Burlington District Energy System.

[clickToTweet tweet=”District energy for Burlington, Vt? ” quote=”District energy for Burlington, Vt?”]
U. of St Thomas microgrid selects Rhombus inverters

Rhombus Energy Solutions will supply the inverters for a microgrid research lab planned at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rhombus’ new multi-port, 50-kW inverters will be used to connect and manage energy storage and renewable sources.

The University of St. Thomas School of Engineering has received a multimillion-dollar grant from the Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund to build the test center.

The center plans to support companies that develop renewable and alternative electric power solutions.

The center will analyze components brought by third parties, research conduct control-systems and devices, and test components used as distributed energy resources, such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, wind turbines, energy storage methods and biofuels.

[clickToTweet tweet=”U. of St Thomas #microgrid selects Rhombus inverters” quote=”U. of St Thomas microgrid selects Rhombus inverters”]

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is the editor and founder of She is co-founder and former editor of Microgrid Knowledge.

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