A comprehensive feasibility study has been completed into using large-scale renewables and battery storage to support Western Power’s line between Kalbarri and Geraldton.
And the news is good for the tiny coastal town of Kalbarri.
The $300,000-study involved 12,500 computer simulations to test the viability and technical requirements of the microgrid.
Western Power executive manager of asset management Sean Goldrick said the microgrid would have utility-scale battery as the centrepiece that is charged by a combination of network, wind and solar that could support the needs of the community during an outage between Geraldton and Kalbarri.
“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.
It would also benefit the resilience of the network by sending surplus energy to Geraldton.
The West Australian coast experiences cyclones between the months of December and March, which also coincide with the summer tourism season.
Western Power will now enter the procurement phase and seek funding sources.