The Ikea Adelaide store now has Australia’s largest grid-connected commercial microgrid, which features a 1.2 MW rooftop solar system and a 3 MW/3.45 MWh energy storage system supported by Planet Ark Power’s eleXsys energy management system for surplus export.
Planet Ark Power designed and constructed the AUD 6.6 million microgrids, which will be owned and operated by Epic Energy, an energy infrastructure company headquartered in South Australia.
The system not only supplies power to the Ikea Adelaide store but also allows surplus electricity to be traded into the South Australian network during periods of high demand, according to Clive D’Cruz, the CEO of Epic Energy.
Excess clean energy stored in the microgrid’s battery can be sold on the National Electricity Market (NEM) during peak hours, supporting grid stability and reliability by participating in Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets, D’Cruz added.
“Investing in Australia’s first-of-its-type urban microgrid supports our offtake partner Ikea in achieving their climate-positive goals while benefiting the local community through supporting grid stability,” said D’Cruz.
Jonathan Ruddick, the CFO of Planet Ark Power, said that the integration of their eleXsys technology has turned the Ikea store into a commercial microgrid that is not constrained by the grid.
“Use of the eleXsys technology means being able to connect to up to 10 times more energy than solar technology and grid constraints currently allow,” Ruddick added.
South Australia has one of the highest rates of rooftop solar use, which, along with wind power, often meets all of the state’s energy needs.
The microgrid at the Adelaide Ikea store will help Ikea achieve its goal of using 100% renewable energy at the store by 2025.