Microgrids could be the answer to reliability issues in some areas of regional WA, creating better outcomes for customers and shaping our modular grid future.
So what is a microgrid?
It is essentially a small-scale power grid that runs independently or it can connect to the main electricity network. A renewable energy microgrid can draw electricity via different energy sources including solar, wave and wind power. They can also contain battery storage capabilities and a backup generator.
Watch the video to find out more...
We all take flicking a switch on and off for granted. For many, how our power supply gets there isn’t a concern until suddenly it ‘goes out’.
It’s especially true for regional communities in WA, who depend on the stretches of powerlines connected to the electricity network as their source of energy. Any interference caused to these lines can lead to power cuts and become a very costly process.
We are at the forefront of finding innovative ways to improve the reliability of energy supply in country areas. Microgrids act like an island of power where a group of customers are supplied power via an islanded network that is disconnected from the main grid.
Advanced microgrid solutions increase the reliability of service to isolated towns because the energy generation process is closer to where the power will be used.
Microgrids can also store power in batteries, which means they can essentially use all of the energy they produce when required.
Being able to connect to the main electricity network and a microgrid ensures a reliable power supply for the future.
But microgrids are just one part that will make up WA's future network...
Microgrids, such as the one in Kalbarri, have the capacity to provide electricity for a whole community.
At 5MW, the Kalbarri microgrid is one of Australia’s largest renewable energy microgrid projects.
So it can draw energy from the connected wind farm and also feed-in from residential rooftop solar panels.
The microgrid is under construction and is set to be completed in 2020.
The microgrid that will power up the coastal tourist town of Kalbarri is a model for a new way of creating reliable energy in regional WA.
"Microgrids have huge potential in regional WA. However the location and the timing needs to be right to make the most of the opportunity", says Janica Lukas.