In a move to address unreliable grid power in the state of South Australia, a solar company has taken its headquarters off the local grid in favour of a hybrid solar PV-solar thermal on-site power system.

The company, Fluid Solar Thermal, held a ‘cord-cutting ceremony’ on Monday where the building’s grid connection was symbolically cut by Australia’s environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg.

The building had been operating off-grid in testing mode since April.

Known as Fluid Solar House, the four-storey office building is located in Elizabeth, a suburb of Adelaide, and was designed as a proof-of-concept structure. Its roof features a 98 kWp array of 378 photovoltaic panels and a 150 kW array of 24 solar thermal evacuated tube collectors.

In addition, the company said backup power for extended periods of low sunlight is provided by an 8 kW gas-fired cogeneration system.

The 3000 square-metre building’s 2200 kWh of energy storage capacity, located beneath the building’s car park, is made up of around 90 per cent thermal storage and 10 per cent deep-cycle lead battery storage.   

In July, Fluid Solar House joined Tesla’s electric vehicle charging network. The building features two Tesla connectors for up to 6 kW.

The company claims the AUD8m ($6.4m) building is the first of its kind.