WA Town To Go 100 Per Cent Renewable
Residents in Western Australia's Mid-West have been promised fewer power outages after a joint-venture was awarded a state government tender to build a micro-grid in the region.
The $6.8 million contract with Western Power is to build a 100 per cent renewable wind and solar powered micro-grid, including large battery, in the popular tourist town of Kalbarri.
The town currently gets its power through a 140km long feeder line from Geraldton, which is unreliable and suffers frequent blackouts which frustrate residents and businesses during the busy tourist season.
A joint-venture between Perth company Energy Made Clean and multinational construction giant Lendlease won the contract to build the micro-grid, expected to be fully operational by mid-2019.
Energy Minister Ben Wyatt made the announcement on Thursday and promised the 5MW microgrid, with a full-scale 4.5MW/h battery, would improve reliability for businesses, local residents and holiday-makers.
Mr Wyatt said the partnership between Western Power and the joint-venture would support the Kalbarri community's desire to be renewable-powered.
"The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents," he said.
"It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power ... which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages," he said.
The town's network will also need to be modified so it can draw directly from other renewable sources during outages, including a local wind farm and residential solar systems.