28/11/2016 - 10:08

Kalbarri to get renewable energy microgrid

28/11/2016 - 10:08

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A $10 million renewable energy-powered microgrid, which has the potential to become Australia’s largest, has been given the green light for development in Kalbarri.

Kalbarri to get renewable energy microgrid

A $10 million renewable energy-powered microgrid, which has the potential to become Australia’s largest, has been given the green light for development in Kalbarri.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the state government would seek expressions of interest next month for the microgrid, which will consist of wind and solar power as well as a large-scale battery that will bear a minimum capacity of 2 megawatt hours.

The microgrid will explore a 5MW capable system; Kalbarri’s current town peak is about 3.7MW.

"The project, which has the potential to be Australia's biggest renewable microgrid, will consider all generation options and take into account the community's desire for a renewable solution," Dr Nahan said.

"This 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.

"In the event of an outage on the main feeder line that supplies electricity to Kalbarri from Geraldton, the microgrid will ensure the Kalbarri community will still have power until the fault is corrected.”

Dr Nahan said the lessons learned from the microgrid would be closely investigated to see how it could benefit other towns in Western Australia.

"It is expected contracts will be in place and the project will be under way by 2017, with a commitment to have the microgrid up and running, as quickly as possible, for the people of Kalbarri," he said.

Perth-based thermal energy company Enerji and Western Power co-developed a trial in March to determine the economic case for the microgrid in Kalbarri.

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