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Western Power awards Kalbarri microgrid contract to EMC and Lend Lease joint venture

CTBR Staff Writer Published 09 February 2018

Western Power has awarded an A$6.8m ($5.3m) contract to a joint venture (JV) by Energy Made Clean (EMC) and Lend Lease to build a 5MW renewable microgrid project in Kalbarri, a resort town on Western Australia's coast.

As part of the contract, the joint venture will provide a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility for Western Power.

While EMC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy, a provider of microgrids, Lend Lease is a construction company.

The microgrid to be built by the duo is expected to eliminate most of the unplanned outages affecting the town, thereby boosting the energy reliability for businesses, local residents and holiday-makers.

BESS will have a 4.5MWh energy capacity with a minimum of 2MWh. This battery will be accessible at any time to provide reliability back-up services and will supply power to Kalbarri when renewable sources cannot generate electricity.

Carnegie Clean Energy CEO and managing director Michael Ottaviano said: “This BESS will deliver energy security to Kalbarri, a regional area of Western Australia which has previously had its energy supply disrupted because of its remote location.”

“This contract award comes just over 12 months after the establishment of the EMC/Lendlease JV which has secured $25m in orders in the last 4 weeks with Kalbarri and our Northam Solar Farm.”

Western Power plans to improve the regional network to allow Kalbarri to directly draw power from a local wind farm and residential solar PVs among other renewable sources during an unplanned outage.

The design of the microgrid project will also enable more renewable generation sources to be integrated in the future based on their availability.

In this regard, Western Power has approved a 1MW solar thermal project, which will be connected to the Kalbarri microgrid.

Construction on the project is likely to start in November with the microgrid slated to be fully operational by mid-2019.

Western Australia Energy Minister Ben Wyatt, who announced the awarding of the contract, said: “It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages.

“The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.”