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Contract awarded for Kalbarri’s renewable microgrid

*UPDATE* Kalbarri microgrid officially opened in February 2022, view the media statement or read more on the Kalbarri microgrid project page.

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt released the following media statement today to announce the appointment of the successful vendors who will build our Kalbarri microgrid: 


Energy Minister Ben Wyatt is pleased to announce a joint venture by Energy Made Clean (EMC) and Lend Lease has won a $6.8 million contract for Western Power’s 100% renewable energy-powered microgrid project for Kalbarri.

Western Power has engineered and designed the innovative solution which will be one of the most sophisticated microgrids in Australia, and meet the expectations of the community and operational requirements of Western Power.

The five megawatt (MW) microgrid, once built, will improve reliability for businesses, local residents and holiday-makers, removing the vast majority unplanned outages affecting the Mid-west town.

The joint venture between EMC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WA-based Carnegie Clean Energy which is regarded as a world leader in microgrids and the integration of renewable energy in networks, and the experience of construction company Lend Lease will be invaluable in delivering the microgrid.

Western Power will enhance the local network to allow the town to draw directly from renewable sources during an unplanned outage, including a local wind farm and residential solar PVs.

A key part of the microgrid design will be a utility-scale 4.5MWh battery with a minimum of 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services. This will supply power to the town when renewable generation sources are not available.

The design will also allow for future renewable generation sources to be integrated as they become available. Western Power has approved a 1MW solar thermal project to be connected in Kalbarri and this connection will further increase the availability of power to the microgrid.

The battery system will be ordered for manufacture straight away, with construction work on site at Kalbarri expected to begin in November. The microgrid is scheduled to be in full operation by mid-2019.

Western Power’s consultation with the community informed the specification of the microgrid and particularly the focus on renewables. The successful bid by the EMC/Lend Lease joint venture will support the town’s efforts to become a green holiday destination.

The support and input of the Kalbarri community into this project has been invaluable, particularly during the feasibility study.

Kalbarri will remain connected to the South West Integrated Network via the feeder line from Geraldton and this solution will remove the majority of the frustration and uncertainty that the community currently experience due to environmental impacts.

The microgrid continues Western Power’s development of innovative energy solutions and other technology projects, including the stand-alone power system in the Great Southern and the large scale community battery system in Perenjori.

“This is a great outcome for the Western Australia economy and the Kalbarri community," said Energy Minister Ben Wyatt. 

 “It 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. The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.

 “This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/Lend Lease JV also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia's biggest 100% renewable microgrids.”

Find out more about our Kalbarri microgrid project and other innovative trials

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