Western Power given go-ahead for second SPS trial

Western Power has been given the green light to conduct a large demonstration for its stand-alone power systems (SPS) project within part of the South West Interconnected Network.

The project will involve up to 60 locations in regional areas and represents the largest installation of SPS units in Western Australia.

“Delivering efficient, safe and reliable power to the rural and remote parts of Western Australia is challenging,” WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said.

“Long stretches of power lines are at the mercy of wind, rain, vegetation, lightning and bushfires.

“As a government-owned utility, Western Power is actively seeking ways to improve reliability for all customers.

“The adoption of new and advanced technologies also opens the door for new skills across the energy sector and the potential for new jobs.”

The project builds on the successful trial of the technology on six properties in the Great Southern completed in 2017.

With all of the identified customers engaged, Western Power is now about to commence its open tender procurement process for the demonstration project.

The locations were identified based on the age and condition of assets, network topography and customer load usage profiles, plus the fact they are now due for significant maintenance works.

The project will help identify optimal configuration of battery, renewable energy and diesel generation technology.

In parallel to Western Power’s SPS project, the Energy Minister has also asked the Public Utilities Office to identify regulatory changes that will allow greater use of SPS as a low-cost solution to poles and wires in delivering more reliable services in regional areas.