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The Western Australian Government has commissioned the long-awaited $15 million Kalbarri renewable microgrid, which will be the largest of its kind in Australia.

The microgrid will be using entirely renewable wind and solar energy, and will provide greater power reliability for local tourism and retail operations, and for the broader community.

Western Power developed the Kalbarri microgrid in partnership with Synergy, the Shire of Northampton and the local community.  

The microgrid will be able to supply 5MW at peak capacity, with a 2MW battery that will be able to provide at least 3.5MW of energy storage.

This will provide the town with more power reliability and will significantly reduce the number of outages caused by the town’s location at the end of the long Geraldton feeder line. 

Microgrids are increasingly being used as a more resilient method to deliver electricity to rural communities as the design is less likely to be interrupted by environmental factors.

Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “Improving how energy is delivered in regional areas and delivering better power reliability for Western Australians is an important part of the McGowan Government’s Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap.

“The Kalbarri microgrid is an important step towards improving power reliability for the local community.

“It also paves the way in delivering greater renewable energy solutions across WA, particularly in regional areas, as we move forward in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC, Peter Foster, said, “Kalbarri is a tourism draw-card with more than 100,000 visitors flocking to the beachside town each year.

“The new microgrid is one of Australia’s most sophisticated, and will be used as a blueprint for other regional areas to support the provision of stable, secure and clean energy into the future.”

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