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Business Renewables Centre

Image of five workers in high-visibility clothing who are installing a large rooftop solar panel moduleImage credit: ERM PowerINVESTMENT PRIORITY: Improving energy productivity

LEAD ORGANISATION: Climate-KIC Australia

ARENA FUNDING: $500,000

TOTAL PROJECT COST: $1.7 million

LOCATION: NSW

The Business Renewables Centre in Australia (BRC-A) is Australia’s first online resource centre and marketplace established to increase renewable energy use within Australian organisations, particularly commercial and industrial energy users.

The goal of the BRC-A project is to help Australian organisations buy 1 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy by 2022 and 5 GW by 2030 (see Table 10: How much electricity is a gigawatt?).

The BRC-A is working to streamline and accelerate corporate purchasing of large-scale wind and solar energy and storage by making it easier for businesses to enter the renewable energy market.

It provides energy buyers and developers with online resources, such as a Buyer’s Roadmap, to guide them through the procurement process for renewable energy, as well as training and networking opportunities that share the hard-earned lessons of first movers to help new entrants negotiate and execute power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The Centre also offers members access to a new live marketplace for renewable energy, which already has more than 7000 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar listed across 67 separate projects, listed by 30 different renewable energy developers.

HOW THIS PROJECT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

By supporting this project, ARENA is assisting the growing number of Australian organisations that want to use more renewable energy but do not know how to achieve this.

More than 100 organisations have already joined the BRC-A, in addition to the Centre’s 71 founding member organisations. The BRC-A focuses on helping such organisations overcome their lack of experience and knowledge of corporate renewable PPAs by providing online resources, training and information sharing.

TABLE 10: HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY IS A GIGAWATT?

HOW ELECTRICITY IS MEASURED

WATT (W)

1 WATT

Often seen on packaging for small household products such as light bulbs

A 40 W light bulb uses 40 watts of electricity

KILOWATT (KW)

1000 WATTS

(1 WATT x 1000)

The output of rooftop solar panels is often described in kilowatts

A typical residential solar panel system can produce 3.5 KW of electricity

MEGAWATT (MW)

1 MILLION WATTS

(1 KILOWATT x 1000)

The output of a power station is described in megawatts

The Ballarat Energy Storage System can produce 30 MW of electricity

GIGAWATT (GW)

1000 MILLION WATTS

(1 MEGAWATT x 1000)

Gigawatts are used to describe large amounts of electricity

Maximum demand for NSW in 2016-17 was 14.7 GW

A kilowatt-hour is the amount of electricity produced or consumed in an hour.

A typical Australian home's daily usage is around 17 kWh.

Diagram credit: Australian Energy Market Operator