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Costa Rica usually makes headlines for its natural beauty, not its natural power

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The logo of French state-owned electricity company EDF is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris October 15, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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950A group of houses in he UK with PV installations
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850The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $112,400 support for Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL) to investigate a model for shared solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and energy storage capacity in metropolitan suburbs.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project would look at how communities can draw on renewable energy and storage for cheaper power and greater control over their energy.

“Pooling solar PV generation and storage across a number of households using a neighbourhood ‘micro-grid’ could address certain challenges and allow residential customers to generate, store and use more of their own solar PV,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Although record numbers of Australian households already have rooftop solar systems, there is a limit on how much grid-connected solar PV individual households can install and how much solar power they can generate.

“This is because our networks were designed to facilitate power flowing in one direction – from the grid to customers – and the system can run into technical problems if too much solar power is fed back into the grid at any one time.

“In addition to working with networks to look at ways to better manage the integration of renewable energy and two-way traffic, ARENA is supporting projects like this one to explore the logistical, regulatory and financial challenges involved in adopting micro-grids in existing suburbs.”

MEFL and project partners GreenSync and Jemena will undertake a virtual trial based on historical power consumption data from medium-density Melbourne suburbs. They will examine how PV and storage systems could provide ‘behind the meter’ power needs of users and potentially show how networks could be used differently to allow more grid-connected solar.

Mr Frischknecht said adopting solar PV and battery storage at a community level can decrease installation and maintenance costs by leveraging the purchasing power of multiple residences.

“Micro-grids could enable more solar energy to be shared between neighbours at peak times when grid power is most expensive, increasing the value to participating residences,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“In addition, the ability to reduce peak demand through such a system could actively assist network utilities to manage challenging periods of variable power production and overall activity on the grid.”

The results of the $225,800 project are due in May 2016.

About Moreland Energy Foundation Limited

Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) is a not-for-profit organisation established by the Moreland City Council to work with communities, partners and governments to implement sustainable energy projects. The organisation works to support the community of Moreland achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. Through its social enterprise Positive Charge, MEFL supports 20 Councils help households and businesses become more energy efficient and install solar PV. MEFL also provides consulting services to governments and corporations on technical and strategic factors in the deployment of distributed renewable energy.

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November 30, 2015

SkyPower Official Partner of COP21

PARIS, November 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyPower, the world's largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar energy projects, is proud to announce its landmark partnership agreement with COP21, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which delegations representing over 150... Read more here::       
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November 30, 2015

From Providers to Partners, These are the Energy Utility Companies of the Future

Supply-driven business models will evolve to include customer-centric and technology-enabled services, according to new Frost & Sullivan's research LONDON, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The traditionally strong-performing electric utility industry is undergoing tectonic... Read more here::       
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November 30, 2015

Costa Rica went 255 days on almost 100% renewable energy

The small Central American nation got rid of its armed forced 65 years ago, and the Ticos are a happier people for it. Now, Costa Rica – home to four and a half million people – is setting a new example in human values: for 255 days it has managed its resident’s energy needs with [...]
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November 30, 2015

EDF Energy buys Dorenell onshore wind farm in Scotland

EDF Energy’s (EDF.PA) renewable arm has bought the Dorenell onshore wind farm project in Scotland which could provide electricity for up to 138,000 homes, the company said on Thursday. The plant could generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity and is expected to begin operation in 2018. EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of French utility [...]
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November 30, 2015

Call for Papers, China International Battery Fair 2016

TIANJIN, China, Nov. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The technical conference of CIBF 2016 will be named as "China International Conference on the Frontier Technology of Advanced Batteries, CIBF2016" and will mainly focus on the latest progress on R&D and applications of advanced batteries... Read more here::       
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November 30, 2015

Breakthrough Energy Coalition to Invest in Zero-Carbon Energy Technologies

Bill Gates-led private sector effort to collaborate with public sector's Mission Innovation initiative PARIS, Nov. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which launched today in Paris, is a global group of private investors that will take the risks that allow... Read more here::       
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November 29, 2015

UK reaches 8.31 GW of PV capacity

The UK had 8,315 MW of cumulative installed PV capacity at the end of October 2015, according to the latest figures from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The country added 64 MW of new PV systems in October, down from 94 MW in September and 155 MW in October 2014. The [...]
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