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An Adaptive Renewable Energy Plant (AREP) - To Power Local Premises and Vehicles with 100% Renewables


An adaptive response renewable energy plant (AREP) that provides grid balancing services and XeV station fuelling services (where “X” is any type) using renewable energy located in urban centres is described. The AREP has its own primary renewable energy sources and adapts operation in the short term to changing levels of excess or deficient energy on LV and MV electricity grids. The AREP adaptively responds by (1) storing excess energy in batteries for the short term and in hydrogen tanks after energy conversion by electrolysers for the long term; (2) returning power to the grid from either the AREP’s own primary (electron-based) energy sources or batteries and/or from hydrogen via conversion in fuel cells; (3) providing electricity for fast charging BeVs and PHeVs and hydrogen for FCeVs; and (4) exporting excess stored energy as hydrogen to domestic markets. The AREP also adapts over the long term by predictive planning of charging capacity such that the type and capacity of renewable energy equipment is optimised for future operations. A key advantage of this AREP configuration is a flexible, “plug and play” capability with modular extension of energy assets. If the AREP footprint is constrained, interaction with neighbouring AREPs as a mini-VPP-AREP network can assist in balancing short-term operating requirements. The benefits of this grid balancing and XeV renewable energy filling station, or AREP, are environmental, social and economic through efficient functionality of appropriately sized components. AREPs provide a net zero emissions electricity solution to an existing network with short and long-term storage options as well as a net zero emissions fuel alternative to the transport sector, while leveraging existing infrastructure with minimal upfront CAPEX. AREPs can give the flexibility a grid needs to enable high levels of renewable installations while developing green hydrogen production.

Funding source: This work received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Research and Development Program - Renewable Hydrogen for Export (Contract No. 2018/RND012)
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Australia

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