Media Release: Trial to support renewable energy and storage for refrigeration industry

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THE HON ANGUS TAYLOR MP
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
 
PHILLIP THOMPSON OAM MP
Federal Member for Herbert

Townsville is set to benefit from important energy and storage that will maximise energy and productivity for Australian primary industries.
 
The Liberal National Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $2 million in funding to Glaciem Cooling Technologies Pty Ltd (Glaciem) to develop a new thermal energy storage solution for refrigeration and air conditioning.
 
This trial will demonstrate the use of thermal energy storage in the refrigeration sector and how this can be integrated with renewable energy, enhancing Australia’s position as a world-leader in energy efficiency R&D and address Australian-specific conditions.
 
Glaciem will work with Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville to expand their existing solar PV capacity and connect this with the energy storage unit for air-conditioning and water cooling. This project is intended to store excess renewable energy within a thermal storage system.
 
Glaciem’s $4.95 million project will demonstrate the value of integrating renewable energy and thermal energy storage across three sites. The two other sites are at Pernod Ricard Winemakers in the Barossa Valley and Ceravolo Orchards in Oakbank, in South Australia.
 
Through ARENA, the Government has provided $2 million towards Glaciem’s three pilot projects. Of the $2 million, $436,115 will be directed towards the Reef HQ Aquarium project.
 
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the project will improve energy usage, help industry to reduce emissions and significantly lower cooling electricity costs.
 
“The Government is pleased to support new technology that delivers real outcomes such as lower prices and emissions reduction,” said Minister Taylor.
 
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said it was great to see Reef HQ at the forefront of renewable energy innovation.
 
“Reef HQ is the world’s largest coral reef aquarium, and it takes a lot of energy to keep running,” Mr Thompson said.
 
“As one of our region’s most iconic tourist attractions, it’s great that the Federal Government has been able to assist in helping Reef HQ reduce its power consumption from the grid, while also allowing the opportunity to experiment with new technologies.”
 
Glaciem’s technology allows for energy use to be timed to access lower electricity rates in off-peak times and when renewable energy is being generated on-site.
 
The unit is recharged when energy is at is cheapest and then uses the stored energy for cooling applications during peak times. Glaciem also uses environmentally friendly coolant and a smart control and forecasting system developed by UniSA to optimise the storage system’s operation based on weather forecasts, electricity price forecasts, and customer demand forecasts to maximise customer savings.
 
The trial of this innovative cooling technology aligns with the Government’s policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support renewable energy generation through advanced technology development.

ENDS

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