WA high school getting virtual power plant

future battery industry, virtual power plant, future battery FBICRC, renewable energy package
WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Premier Mark McGowan

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School is the first school to be confirmed in the McGowan Government’s Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot project.

The first Schools Virtual Power Plant, located at the Goldfields school, is the direct result of the McGowan Government’s investment in Kalgoorlie’s new energy future.

The solar panels and battery are due to be installed over the coming months.

As part of the WA Recovery Plan, the McGowan Government will invest $4 million towards transforming up to 10 schools into smart VPPs–installed by Synergy.

A VPP is a network of distributed energy resources such as solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles that are integrated and shared with an energy retailer.

Related article: Customers embracing AGL’s certified carbon neutral products

Schools will be provided with commercial batteries to store their excess energy for later use, which will also assist with grid stability. This is a step towards a more sustainable future.

The trial will run for 24 months and it is expected at the end of the pilot, schools will save on their electricity bills and learn more about the benefits of solar power.

Participating schools, determined in conjunction with the Department of Education, have been chosen based on grid suitability and are all from within the South West Interconnected System. More schools will be announced over the coming weeks.

The announcement forms part of the McGowan Government’s $66.3 million renewable energy technologies package, recently launched, which will boost innovative, clean energy projects throughout Western Australia.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said,“I’m pleased to kick off this trial today at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, which teaches students about the benefits of renewable energy and new technologies, and will help improve the Goldfields region’s renewable energy footprint.

Related article: The silver lining from COVID-19 that could help Australia’s battery industry

“This pilot is another example of how my Government continues to invest in renewable energy technologies and develop a pathway for more job and training opportunities.

“It builds on investments we’re making in new industries and sectors to help the state rebound stronger than ever in our recovery journey to establish a pipeline of jobs for Western Australians.”

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said it was an exciting milestone for the McGowan Government and will pave the way for a more energy efficient system in Western Australia.

“Regional Western Australians will be able to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and improved power quality in their local communities,” he said.

“This initiative supports the McGowan Government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which will help transition WA towards a cleaner, greener energy future.”