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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    BTPS 1 Pty Ltd

    Location

    Keeps Creek, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start Date

    October 2019

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    Epho Pty Ltd
    This solar PV project was completed on 30 April 2021.

Summary

This Bright Thinkers Power Station project will develop and construct a 1.7 MW industrial rooftop solar PV system to demonstrate the Bright Thinkers Power Station (BTPS) concept.

Key results

The project successfully achieved its most important outcome of providing a solution to fill empty roofs of industrial development. Without the BTPS technology, the chosen site for the trial would have only had 850kW behind the meter solar PV. The BTPS system allowed for 1.7 MW, increasing the export capacity to the NEM from <10% to approximately 40%.

After 12 months of operation, the project was also able to validate the BTPS Proof of Concept demonstrating that the technology works and is able to dynamically switch depending on external factors such as tenant load or external trigger signals (e.g. market price events).

Additionally, the project managed to:

  • enable the decoupling of PV system size from load constraint to roof surface constraint
  • provide a solution for the misalignment of interest between the landlord and tenant in the traditional scenario of the landlord owning the asset (solar PV) and the tenant using it
  • enable the installation of large urban solar farms in areas where the Marginal Loss Factor is close to unity.
Last updated
04 October 2021

Need

The BTPS system differs from a conventional rooftop solar PV system in its ability to direct solar energy either partially or fully to the consumer on site, or directly trade the energy on the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The project aims to unlock further investment and installation of solar PV on the entire usable roof space of commercial and industrial buildings. This compares to the present practice where current rooftop solar PV systems are constrained in size to align with tenant demand.

Action

Epho has partnered with Siemens to develop a control system with switching technology that segregates electricity through two separate channels.

The dynamic switching will be enabled by an algorithm being jointly developed by Epho and Siemens, based on solar PV output, electricity wholesale market signals and expected tenant demand.

Outcome

The BTPS technology allows the operation of an industrial solar system under dual functionality, meaning that the system can direct a share of the solar power generated to the building (‘behind the meter’) and the other share to the National Electricity Market (NEM) as a market-participating power station.

The split of the share can vary over very short time periods, which provides a unique flexibility on how to operate the solar system and still maintain the value of solar electricity delivered behind the meter to the tenant. The BTPS technology allows the unique alignment of the interests of the landlord, the tenant and the owner of the solar asset, and at the same time opens up the opportunity to fully utilise the entire industrial rooftop.

Additional impact

BTPS opens a path to enable the development of ‘large-scale’ rooftop power stations connected to the NEM and will allow further solar integration into the Commercial and Industrial market.

Epho’s knowledge sharing activities at an industry level will feature presentations at significant industry events, to provide feedback to the solar industry on the learnings, and challenges, of completing such a project.

Last updated 04 October 2021
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