A study into a new Western Power microgrid that would improve power reliability in Kalbarri, Western Australia has found the project is feasible.
The $300,000 study, which was funded by Western Power, has confirmed the technical feasibility of a large renewable-energy connected battery to improve the reliability of the 140km network between Geraldton and Kalbarri.
The microgrid will have a utility-scale battery as the centrepiece that is charged by a combination of network, wind and solar that can support the needs of the community during an outage on the network between Geraldton and Kalbarri.
Western Power Executive Manager of Asset Management, Seán Mc Goldrick, said the report was an essential and exhaustive process involving 12,500 computer simulations to test the viability and technical requirements of the project.
“The findings mean we can go forward with the confidence and proof that there are bigger picture reliability solutions that the network can offer to edge-of-grid customers in areas like Kalbarri,” Mr Mc Goldrick said.
“Reliability of power supply is important to everyone but for towns like Kalbarri, that are so reliant on tourism, frequent or extended outages can have a significant impact during holiday season when power use soars.”
Mr Mc Goldrick said it would also have the benefit of strengthening the resilience of the network by sending surplus energy to Geraldton.
Western Power will now enter the procurement phase of the project to seek funding sources and will continue to work with the community, local government and businesses in the region to have their input.
This is one of several innovative projects that Western Power is undertaking to meet customer needs by embracing emerging and future technology.
These initiatives include the wave-powered microgrid trial on Garden Island, Ravensthorpe stand-alone power systems pilot, White Gum Valley residential project and the Perenjori Battery Energy Storage System.