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Minister announces first community battery for the Goldfields

Minister for Energy Bill Johnston with Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Western Power CEO Ed Kalajzic and Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn with the Tesla battery bound for Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Minister for Energy Bill Johnston released the following media statement today to announce the first community battery in the Goldfields: 


Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Energy Minister Bill Johnston today announced that Kalgoorlie-Boulder will receive the region's first community battery.

Located on Dart Street, Western Power's utility-grade battery will be integrated into the network, improving power quality and providing benefits for the entire community by smoothing the daytime and peak-time load periods.

It will also enable homes and businesses in Kalgoorlie to continue integrating more rooftop solar and new technologies onto the grid.

The rollout of community batteries is a key action of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which was released by Minister Johnston in April 2020.

In 2018, the McGowan Government completed an initial feasibility study into opportunities for solar in the Goldfields.

As part of the study, a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) was identified as a potential option to provide better power management and improve reliability, which is fundamental to enabling the economic development and growth of the region.

A key component of the VPP is the integration of energy storage and Western Power's community battery was identified as the most cost-effective and quickest way to achieve this.

From October, Synergy will recruit 50 eligible regional customers via the PowerBank partnership with Western Power. Customers will be able to make the most of their solar system by virtually storing excess energy generated - of up to 8kWh a day.  

The rollout of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community battery has been enabled by the McGowan Government's recent Electricity Industry Amendment Bill 2019 passing State Parliament. 

Energy Minister Bill Johnston with Western Power CEO Ed Kalajzic

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"This is a great example of the way regional areas enthusiastically embrace new technologies, and a positive result from our Government's feasibility study into opportunities for solar in the Goldfields.

"While this community battery is initially being used for network purposes, we look forward to seeing how it, and other new technology opportunities being investigated by the Government, will be used to benefit the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community and industry."


Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

"The community battery program is another example of the McGowan Government creating a cleaner, greener energy future for Western Australians.

"This exciting project demonstrates the growing number of opportunities for integrating batteries into an established network and highlights another aspect of the Government's Future Battery Industry Strategy at work.

"Thank you to Western Power and Synergy who continue to deliver innovative and important projects during the COVID-19 pandemic."


Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn: 

"This is great for the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region and I look forward to seeing the battery delivered. 

"Up to 50 households with solar panels will be able to 'virtually' store their excess energy into the Tesla battery to use in the afternoon and evening peak time."


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