The South Australian government has awarded two energy companies a $1.95 million grant to help build a solar and battery pilot project at a major distribution centre in Adelaide’s north.

Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power have partnered up to build the $13.9 million project, which will deliver sustainable and affordable energy to SA, including a micro-grid with 2.9 megawatt-hours of smart battery storage, demand management, new network integration technology and up to 6MW of rooftop solar power.

This is the first and largest project of its kind in Australia.

“The South Australian government leads the way with its vision for renewable energy generation, and this project is a significant stepping stone towards a future where the whole of Australia has reliable and affordable sources of renewable energy,” Schneider Electric Australia and New Zealand president and managing director Gareth O’Reilly said.

The grant is one of four awarded as part of the state government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund designed to support projects in four categories: renewable generation, bulk energy storage, bioenergy and hydrogen infrastructure.

“This micro-grid project allows the demonstration of the technology that will power our future energy supply both locally and globally,” Planet Ark Power general manager Jonathan Ruddick said.

“The microgrid harnesses the full potential of renewable energy by dealing with the intermittent nature of solar.”

Work on the project is expected to commence early in 2018.