Western Australia’s very own Big Battery – at least, the first and largest yet to be installed on the state’s grid – has been dispatched to its destination in Kalbarri, where it will become the centrepiece of a solar and wind microgrid that promises to deliver much improved reliability than the local grid.
W.A.’s government-owned network operator Western Power said last week that the 5MW/2MWh battery had taken nearly a full day to load onto the trucks for transport, owing to its size of 25 metres long and 5m wide, and weight of 60 tonnes.
The battery will join a wind and solar micro-grid that Western Power hopes will boost reliability for Kalbarri, a resort town on the W.A. coast that suffers frequent outages because of its dependence on a wobbly link with centralised generation further south.
The 33kV line connecting Kalbarri, 500km north of Perth, to the rest of the grid is often affected by storms, wind-borne sea salt and sand, and can suffer extended outages.
In a statement last week, Western Power said the battery would be a key part of the microgrid’s design, supplying a minimum of 2MWh at any time when there was a network outage.
The project is being developed by Lendlease, who won the contract for the microgrid back in early 2018 along with former Carnegie Clean Energy subsidiary, Energy Made Clean.
But that partnership was reported to be under “separation negotiations” in April this year, following EMC’s dumping by Carnegie, which the wave power developer has largely blamed for its own financial collapse.
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