Tourists flock to Kalbarri to enjoy the natural environment but the remoteness of the coastal town provides a challenge to maintain a reliable power supply.
The Mid West town currently receives power via a 140km long rural feeder line from Geraldton which is exposed to the elements.
Interference on the line can cause extended outages.
This has a knock-on effect to local businesses – it’s hard to keep tourists happy when they can’t dine out, use the air conditioner (it gets hot up there!) or even take money out of the ATMs.
But this is set to change.
Kalbarri will be powered by its own microgrid - a small-scale power grid which will also be connected to the main electricity network.
The microgrid will be designed and managed by Western Power and we have partnered with Lendlease to deliver the technical components.
Image: the microgrid leaving Perth and being transported to Kalbarri.
For the 1,500 Kalbarri locals, and the 100,000 plus visitors that travel to Kalbarri every year, this power situation has been a long-standing reality.
As the grid becomes more modular, expect to hear more about microgrids. Janica Lukas heads up the team making microgrids part of WA’s energy mix.
The microgrid features a 4.5MWh battery which will be able to supply 5MW of peak capacity with at least 2MWh of energy storage.
That's a lot of MW!
Additional supply will be provided through renewable energy from residential rooftop solar and a local wind farm.
The design allows for future renewable generation sources to be integrated as they become available.
The Kalbarri microgrid will transform power reliability to this WA tourist town.
At 5MW, it will be one of Australia's largest microgrids to run in complete renewable mode, meaning it can draw energy solely from the connected wind farm and feed-in from residential rooftop solar panels.
Watch the video to find out how...