Western Australia: Battery Storage + New Solar

A $4 million stand alone solar power + battery storage pilot project has been announced by Western Australia’s Energy Minister on its six properties in regional areas.

A 12 month trial has been set by the State Government to help determine how electricity can be supplied to West Australians.

Minister Nathan said that “This stand-alone power system pilot is an exciting new initiative that has the potential to deliver alternative electricity supply solutions for West Australians living in rural and remote areas.”

“The pilot will help us explore the right mix of technology and service to make stand-alone solutions another option when maintaining or replacing ageing power poles and lines,” he added.

While the stand alone solar power systems are in progress, Horizon Power also said that they would install five fully stand alone systems incorporating batteries to support the solar power system pilot.

“If successful, Western Power will look into the future use of solar and energy storage as part of a solution for other edge-of-grid customers,” Minister Nahan said.

Last week Horizon Power issued a request for tender for a utility-scale battery system that can deliver up to two megawatt hours of energy.

The battery is to be trialled in Carnarvon, which Horizon says has reached its unmanaged hosting capacity for renewable energy.

Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor said that “The use of the battery storage unit means that the cost of providing spinning reserve to supply electrical power for Carnarvon will be reduced as we will be using stored battery energy rather than operating gas or diesel generating sets to provide the reserve power.”

A report says that a 5.2kW solar power system featuring a Tesla Powerwall battery system installed in Perth can provide a financial benefit of between $1,828 – $2,236 a year; depending on the site and electricity self-consumption profile, this just means that it’s not just regional Western Australia where solar + storage can be of value.