EMC/Lend Lease JV awarded contract for WA microgrid

Energy Made Clean (EMC) and Lend Lease have been awarded a $6.8 million contract for Western Power’s 100 per cent renewable energy-powered microgrid project in Kalbarri.

The joint venture between EMC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WA-based Carnegie Clean Energy, and Lend Lease will see the construction of a utility-scale 4.5MWh battery with a minimum of 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services.

The 5MW microgrid, once built, will remove the vast majority unplanned outages affecting the Mid-west town.

“This is a great outcome for the Western Australia economy and the Kalbarri community,” WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt 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.

“This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/Lend Lease joint venture also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia’s biggest 100 per cent renewable microgrids.”

The design will also allow for future renewable generation sources to be integrated as they become available.

Western Power has approved a 1MW solar thermal project to be connected in Kalbarri and this connection will further increase the availability of power to the microgrid.

“The successful bid by the EMC/Lend Lease joint venture will support the town’s efforts to become a green holiday destination,” Western Power said in a statement.

“The support and input of the Kalbarri community into this project has been invaluable, particularly during the feasibility study.

“Kalbarri will remain connected to the South West Integrated Network via the feeder line from Geraldton and this solution will remove the majority of the frustration and uncertainty that the community currently experience due to environmental impacts.”

The battery system will be ordered for manufacture straight away, with construction work on site at Kalbarri expected to begin in November.

The microgrid is scheduled to be in full operation by mid-2019.