Kalbarri microgrid trial rollout delayed again due to COVID, Seroja

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
The Kalbarri Microgrid is set to shore up the town's currently unreliable power network.
Camera IconThe Kalbarri Microgrid is set to shore up the town's currently unreliable power network.

The long-awaited renewable microgrid touted as the answer to frequent power outages in Kalbarri has again been delayed.

First announced in 2016, the multimillion-dollar system will be able to run independently or connect to the main electricity network.

The project will be one of Australia’s biggest microgrids to run in complete renewable mode, which means it can draw energy solely from the connected wind farm and feed-in from residential rooftop solar panels.

This will not completely stop incidents on the main line from Geraldton within the microgrid area, but it is hoped the system will result in fewer outages and outages of shorter duration.

A Western Power spokesperson in August told the Geraldton Guardian the microgrid was on track to become operational by early September, when a 40-day trial would start.

But it was this week confirmed the trial has not been rolled out, with a spokesperson saying the microgrid was still undergoing “final on-grid commissioning”.

“Residents will benefit from the microgrid during the operational trial and final handover to Western Power of the system is anticipated for late December, 2021,” the spokesperson said.

The microgrid was expected to come online in June this year but cyclone Seroja and “challenges associated with the loss of a key delivery partner” pushed the project back, they said.

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