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.
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. There are currently 4 microgrids in WA: Kalbarri, Perenjori, Bremer Bay and Ravensthorpe.
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...