Shaping better electricity procurement

17 September 2018

Arup: A large regional centre in NSW is considering introducing renewable energy sources after a comprehensive feasibility study by Arup’s Energy Advisory team.

Drawing on our specialist knowledge and experience of renewable energy, we advised Goulburn Mulwaree Council on options for procuring cheaper, greener and more reliable electricity.

Arup’s energy consultant Michael Salt said the study gives Council the information to make ‘commercially sensible renewable energy investment decisions’.


image2Goulburn Mulwaree is a thriving regional centre of around 30,000 people. It is two hours from Sydney, 1 hour from Canberra and 1.5 hours from the coast.

The area has a strong economy with services and amenities comparable to a large city but the benefits of a rural lifestyle.

As a major employer and the closest level of government to individuals, the Council believes it is important to lead the region in sustainability.

For several years, the Council has been investing in sustainable initiatives including developing ‘off-the-grid’ offices at waste management centres, installing solar panels on Council buildings and enabling the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.

The Council engaged Arup to assist in developing a Renewable Options Feasibility Study and is looking forward to taking the next step in developing a sustainable future for the region.

Our study considered a range of factors - technical, financial, legal, environmental, planning and community issues, including any impacts on stakeholders. It also analysed and assessed set-up and auxiliary costs, and provided guidance on the associated challenges and opportunities.

The Arup study suggested installation of solar systems at sites where a daytime load is large enough to absorb generation. The solar would be connected in a behind the meter (BTM) arrangement, where electricity generated is fed directly to the site negating the need to access the distribution and transmission network.

The locally generated electricity is generated at a lower cost than electricity sourced from the grid. This offers a strategic opportunity to reduce the Council’s long-term energy costs.

Reliance on the grid could be further mitigated – and energy security enhanced – by providing lithium-ion or flow battery storage, so that a site would have little to no reliance on the grid.image3

“This study has shown that it is really attractive for the Council to generate and supply their own electricity through solar and battery systems. I think more councils and other large electricity users will come forward to work out how to generate their own electricity and slash their costs. ”
- Michael Salt

Arup is helping shape the change in the Australian energy market, particularly within the context of solar systems in the built environment. We are undertaking feasibility studies and full design of significant solar systems for commercial, education and public buildings that amount to more than 9 MW across more than 30 projects ranging from large portfolio projects to individual buildings.




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