08/02/2018 - 11:42

Carnegie JV in Kalbarri microgrid win

08/02/2018 - 11:42

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A joint venture between a subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy and contractor Lendlease has won $6.8 million of work to install and operate a renewable powered microgrid in the Mid West town of Kalbarri.

Carnegie JV in Kalbarri microgrid win
Michael Ottaviano said the tender had been extremely competitive. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A joint venture between a subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy and contractor Lendlease has won $6.8 million of work to install and operate a renewable powered microgrid in the Mid West town of Kalbarri.

A microgrid is a small power grid with its own generation and demand profile that can operate as part of a larger grid while also able to operate on its own.

The joint venture will build a five-megawatt system, with a 4.5MWh battery, part of which will be available for reliability and backup services when renewable power is not available.

Generation will include both a wind farm and residential solar panels.

Project construction is to begin in November, with completion in mid 2019.

The move is designed to improve grid reliability and reduce unplanned outages, which can be a more significant problem in locations on the fringes of the Western Power grid.

Kalbarri is at the northern end of the South West Interconnected System, and connected by a 140-kilometre, 33-kilovolt branch line prone to outages.

The town, with a population of about 1,300, will remain connected to the main grid.

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt announced the awarding of the contract this morning.

“This is a great outcome for the Western Australian economy and the Kalbarri community,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages.

“The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.

“This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/Lendlease JV also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia's biggest 100 per cent renewable microgrids.”

Western Power and regional energy supplier Horizon Power have explored a similar model in a number of towns, including Onslow.

This contract follows an announcement by former energy minister Mike Nahan in late 2016 that a microgrid would be built in Kalbarri.

Carnegie managing director Michael Ottaviano said the tender had been extremely competitive, with global interest.

“This (system) will deliver energy security to Kalbarri, a regional area of Western Australia which has previously had its energy supply disrupted because of its remote location,” he said.

“This contract aard comes just over 12 months after the establishment of the EMC/Lendlease JV which has secured $25 million in orders in the past four weeks with Kalbarri and our Northam Solar Farm.

“With tender cycles running in excess of 12 months, and a clear focus on delivery of high-value projects for utility grade customers, we are just starting to see the results of our hard work over the past year.”

Shares in Carnegie were 8.3 per cent higher at 3.9 cents each at the close of trading.

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