The largest utility-scale battery ever to be connected to the Western Power electricity network left Perth today headed for Kalbarri, where it will become the centrepiece for a new microgrid, powering the Kalbarri community in the event of a network outage.
The battery transport is a significant milestone for the integration of renewable energy resources into the grid.
The 5MW battery building is 25 metres long, five metres wide and weighs just under 60 tonnes. It’s taken nearly a full day to load the battery onto the trucks for transport.
It will be a key part of the microgrid design supplying a minimum of 2MWh at any time when there is a network outage.
Work has been going on in the background to prepare the Kalbarri network for the microgrid installation, including enhancements that will allow the network and battery to become islanded and draw directly from renewable sources during a network outage.
The microgrid is an innovative solution that adds another level of certainty for the Kalbarri community, particularly during its peak tourism season where power demand almost doubles. We have worked collaboratively with the Kalbarri community, and will continue to work alongside them as the project evolves.
The beauty of this design is that it not only enhances supply reliability, it will have the flexibility to grow with the population of Kalbarri, which in turn supports local businesses.
We expect to complete construction of the microgrid, which includes the underground connection of the battery, by early 2020 with commissioning and operational trial completed later next year.
The transport and delivery of the battery demonstrates Western Power’s commitment to build a green solution for the Kalbarri community’s reliability issues.