A Brisbane start-up and CitySmart partner is creating large scale solar that not only generates energy but safely exports the excess back to the grid, boosting the business case for solar.

Australia is charging forward into a renewable energy future, with Brisbane being the solar capital through having the highest rate of residential rooftop solar systems in the world.

However, when it comes to commercial and industrial sectors, the proportion of rooftop solar installed is very low despite the potential.

How will Queensland achieve its clean energy future goals by 2030 without contributions from these sectors? What is stopping the increase of their proportion of solar?

Brisbane start-up Planet Ark Power knows the reason why commercial rooftop solar is lagging, and has developed game-changing technology to resolve the challenge.

Solving the zero export issue

Traditionally, energy has been generated at large power plants and flowed in one direction to homes and businesses connected to the grid.

Today, however, rooftop solar is creating a challenge for our distribution networks by exporting surplus clean energy back into the grid – asking the one-way grid to work as a two-way grid. This can lead to voltage fluctuations outside of statutory limits, affecting the network’s ability to provide safe and reliable electricity for all.

In response, network operators have imposed zero export restrictions, thereby limiting the amount of solar that can be exported back into the grid. In the commercial and industrial context, these restrictions significantly limit the size of solar installation that is economically viable, because excess solar energy cannot be exported and is therefore wasted.

Planet Ark Power’s solution

Planet Ark Power is a technology and engineering company that has solved this problem by creating the Dynamic Distributed Voltage Management System® (Dynamic DVMS®) which manages voltage to create the world’s first two-way clean energy grid.

With support from the Queensland government and partnerships with leading universities, Planet Ark Power has designed innovative clean energy solutions which use artificial intelligence to radically improve returns on investment for rooftop solar in commercial and industrial applications.

The technology is solving a global electricity grid challenge. Planet Ark Power’s Dynamic DVMS® technology has received international recognition by the World Energy Council and has been nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Start-Up Energy Transition (SET) Awards  hosted in Germany.

The technology allows for the installation of larger solar systems, further reducing customers’ electricity bills and allowing for the export of residual clean energy into the grid. “This creates a faster payback by turning customer’s roofs into income generating assets while also drastically reducing carbon emissions”, says Paul Klymenko, CEO of leading environmental organisation Planet Ark which is a proud partner of Planet Ark Power.

Case study: Llewellyn Motors, Ipswich

In December 2017, Planet Ark Power first installed their game-changing technology at Llewellyn Motors in Ipswich, Queensland, and it will provide great outcomes for both the business and the environment.

The 260kW on-site power station will reduce the dealer’s carbon footprint by 7350 tonnes and will save over $2 million on energy bills over the next 25 years. “By taking leadership with solar generation, we’ve reduced our footprint for ourselves and our customers”, says Wade Llewellyn, Dealer Principal at Llewellyn Motors.

At present, the dealership utilises 80% of the solar energy generated on site. With the Dynamic DVMS® technology, Planet Ark Power has allowed for the remaining 20% of solar energy to be exported, which would have been otherwise curtailed by zero export restrictions.

This export of energy to the grid has improved the economic viability of the project by:

  • reducing the payback time by about twelve months and increasing the internal rate of return on investment from 17.9% to 20.8%.
  • achieving a further reduction of nearly 1300 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is roughly equivalent to taking 535 vehicles off the road for a year.

“Planet Ark Power is excited to have developed technology which allows large-scale rooftop solar opportunities to become a reality. It delivers a quantum leap in the generation of bulk, affordable, clean energy right in the communities where it will be used,“ said Richard Romanowski, Executive Director, Planet Ark Power. “We’re a proud partner of CitySmart and committed to helping businesses in Brisbane and beyond transition into a sustainable clean energy future”.

Get on board

Learn more about how Planet Ark Power can implement clean energy solutions to save your business or organisation money.

Ask for a free no-obligation commercial energy analysis. www.planetarkpower.com