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Microgrid technology: It’s a bright future for WA

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.

Western Power is at the forefront of finding innovative ways to improve the reliability of energy supply in country areas. And it’s all happening with one of Australia’s largest renewable energy microgrid projects in Kalbarri.

We’ve also teamed up with Carnegie Clean Energy to connect the Garden Island microgrid project to the electricity network.

But first, what is a microgrid?

A microgrid is essentially a small-scale power grid.

These energy management systems can run independently or connect to the main electricity network, and because of this they must operate on the same voltage level.

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.

Unlike stand-alone power systems, which are intended for individual households, microgrids such as the Kalbarri microgrid, have the capacity to provide electricity for a whole community.

The Kalbarri microgrid project will source renewable energy from the connected Kalbarri wind farm and residential rooftop solar panels.

Microgrid benefits

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. Learn more about the Kalbarri microgrid project.