Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering


This research focuses on the financial aspects of the underutilised industrial renewable energy generation and storage market in Australia, where the developed methodology is applied to two distribution warehouses and a large energy consuming manufacturer. Throughout Australia the residential and utility scale renewable energy market is booming, however the industrial market has been lagging behind at a fraction of the residential generation capacity in 2020. This lack of uptake in the industrial market is attributed to perceived costs and lack of industry knowledge. This research simplifies the results of solar PV and energy storage design into key financial metrics that communicate the optimal year of installation for a business. To achieve this a methodology was developed to process the energy metering data from the business to drive renewable system design for a balance of generation output and capital cost for installation years 2021, 2025 and 2030. These systems are simulated with System Advisor Model (SAM) using location specific weather data and projected electricity cost rises by state up to 2030. The results are used to size energy storage systems of 4 chemistry types, pairing with solar PV while balancing simple payback and net present value. The resulting solar PV systems achieved a simple payback period ranging from 4 years in 2021 down to under 2 years in 2030 while systems equipped with energy storage typically doubled the simple payback period. Leveraging the differences in energy storage chemistries altered which storage technology had the lowest Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) with lithium-ion the cheapest in 2021 but changing to Vanadium Redox by 2030. Collaborating with industry partners increases renewables penetration into the medium scale market by improving participation and simplifying complex designs, while informing what key objectives the industry requires to commit to a sustainable and renewable energy future.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.