Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has announced a joint venture by Energy Made Clean (EMC) and Lendlease has been awarded a $6.8 million contract for Western Power’s 100 per cent renewable energy-powered microgrid project for Kalbarri.
Western Power has engineered and designed the innovative solution which will be one of the most sophisticated microgrids in Australia, and meet the expectations of the community and operational requirements of Western Power.
The five-megawatt (MW) microgrid, once built, will improve reliability for businesses, local residents and holiday-makers, removing the vast majority of unplanned outages affecting the Mid-West town and tourist hot spot.
The local network is to be enhanced to enable the town to draw directly from renewable sources during an unplanned outage, including a local wind farm and residential solar PVs as well as future renewable generation projects.
A key part of the microgrid design will be a utility-scale 4.5 megawatt hour (MWh) battery with a minimum of 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services. This will supply power to the town when renewable generation sources are not available.
Western Power’s consultation with the community informed the specification of the microgrid and particularly the focus on renewables, and the community’s support has been invaluable.
Kalbarri will remain connected to the South West Interconnected System via the feeder line from Geraldton and this solution will remove the majority of the frustration and uncertainty that the community currently experiences due to environmental impacts.
The microgrid continues Western Power’s development of innovative energy solutions and other technology projects, including the stand-alone power system in the Great Southern and the large-scale community battery system in Perenjori.