Murdoch helping to power green cities of the future

February 26, 2018


Water smart: Dr Martin Anda and Dr Roberta Fornarelli are researching sustainable water systems at the Knutsford Urban Village development

Murdoch University is playing a key role in a major trial of new technology designed to provide cities of the future with sustainable energy and water.

The technology will integrate data from linked energy and water systems in the new Knutsford Urban Village development in Fremantle.

Highly resilient, low carbon and low cost systems will be installed and connected in the new development to generate sustainable, clean energy and fresh water in a collaboration with academic, infrastructure and technology partners.

The surplus energy produced by the system can even be bought and sold across project partner Power Ledger’s blockchain trading platform.

Funding for the project, known as ReNew, has come from the Australian Government’s Smart Cities program.

Residents will benefit from a range of new assets including a 5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, rooftop solar PV panels, community battery storage 1MW, an electric vehicle charging station and new water storage and treatment systems.

Dr Martin Anda, Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering, said Murdoch University would provide research support on alternative district water supply and storage schemes that will be used to provide water, capacity and ancillary services.

Significantly, the plans for onsite water treatment systems which use rainwater capture and wastewater recycling, will defer the need for a $3 million upgrade of ageing water distribution infrastructure at the Knutsford precinct.

“It is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to develop and trial a novel, sustainable water smart grid on a precinct-scale to help residents and business reduce their water usage,” Dr Anda said.

The project partners are confident that the cutting-edge trial will provide a model for thriving cities in Australia and around the world by integrating existing interconnected distributed systems across the city that support each other.

Murdoch is collaborating with key project partners that include Curtin University, Power Ledger, LandCorp, CSIRO, Data61 and Western Power.

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