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Case Study: IKEA eleXsys Microgrid

Game-changing solar and storage installation at IKEA Adelaide with eleXsys technology

IKEA, a global thought leader on sustainability, has engaged eleXsys Energy to demonstrate how businesses globally can be empowered to take immediate, cost-effective action and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. The flagship site for this initiative is the IKEA retail outlet in Adelaide, South Australia (SA).

With the Government of South Australia committing to a Net Zero Emissions Target by 2050, there are significant challenges to be addressed – one of the biggest being voltage and frequency instability caused by increasing distributed energy resources (DER), like rooftop solar across the electricity grid.

South Australia has the second highest penetration of DER in the world with over 34% of residences having installed rooftop solar PV. Combined with its array of large wind and solar farms, South Australia provides an insight into the challenges that will be faced globally as more distributed energy resources are adopted by households and businesses around the world.

The IKEA eleXsys Microgrid will combine commercial-scale solar PV and batteries with the eleXsys solution to provide up to 100% of the IKEA Adelaide’s energy requirements in contrast to 10% with available technology and export restrictions in place. In the process, eleXsys Energy will demonstrate the ability for businesses to embrace optimised solar and battery storage at zero cost to the grid or taxpayers while saving energy costs and creating new revenue streams by supplying surplus energy to the electricity network.

Project Overview - IKEA eleXsys Microgrid, Adelaide (Stage 1)

  • Located adjacent to the Adelaide airport in an industrial park
  • 1.2 MWp PV Solar System
  • 3.4 MWh battery storage (Battery Energy Storage System or BESS)
  • 3 x Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers
  • eleXsys Energy technology
  • IKEA has signed 20-year Microgrid Services Agreement
  • The Microgrid is designed and constructed by eleXsys Energy
  • On commissioning the Microgrid will be owned and operated by a major energy infrastructure operator owned by one of Australia’s largest superannuation/pension funds
  • A range of eleXsys services will be provided over the life of the 20-year project, including voltage management to ensure full export, and trading algorithms to provide frequency services stabilising the grid and spot market energy trading from the BESS
  • The project was supported by the Government of South Australia’s Renewable Technology Fund
  • Includes Schneider Electrics Distributed Energy Resource Management System DERMS technology to pilot its integration with SA Power Networks ADMS for future grid control of other similar type microgrids

IKEA eleXsys Microgrid benefits

For IKEA

  • Providing 50% of IKEA Adelaide’s annual electricity usage in the form of clean energy
  • Reducing power costs, approximately 25% cheaper than the grid
  • Creating a hedge against the grid’s power price rises for 20 years
  • Incorporating options to scale the system to provide 100% of power on-site
  • Building an urban 100% grid-interactive renewable energy site that demonstrates corporate leadership towards a clean energy world.

For investor

  • Securing a 20-year revenue stream with PPA (indexed with CPI)
  • Initiating returns on wholesale trading of electricity, optimised through AI software
  • Creating income streams from FCAS/VARS trading directly with AEMO through Australia’s National Electricity Market Dispatch Engine (NEMDE)
  • Adding a new asset class to investment portfolio; first BESS of this scale on the LV network
  • Generating an estimated project return of 12.5% (without FCAS)

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