Two industrial batteries capable of delivering up to two megawatts (MW) of power will be trialled in Carnarvon under a new partnership announced today by Energy Minister Mike Nahan.
Dr Nahan said the historic partnership between regional energy provider Horizon Power and China's Lishen Power would explore ways of meeting energy demand quickly at a lower cost with the use of battery storage.
Under the agreement, two large battery storage units housed in sea containers will be used as part of a trial at Horizon Power's Mungullah Power Station, in Carnarvon, with other Horizon Power sites also being considered.
The units will be used to enhance generating capacity and optimise spinning reserve, which is essentially reserve power that may need to be drawn upon quickly in the event that demand reaches existing capacity.
"This partnership demonstrates the co-operation between China and Western Australia to deliver mutually beneficial energy solutions which will ultimately drive down the operating costs of producing power in the regions," Dr Nahan said.
"This is good news for taxpayers as the cost of power in regional WA is heavily subsidised by the State Government.
"The use of the battery storage units means that the cost of providing spinning reserve to supply electrical power for Carnarvon will be significantly reduced as we will be using stored battery power rather than diesel to provide the reserve energy."
While the battery storage units will initially be used alongside a more traditional means of generating energy, the learnings of the trial will be applied to renewable energy systems and ultimately inform Horizon Power's strategy in meeting the dynamic needs of the energy market.
"New technology in the renewable and distributed energy space is presenting multiple opportunities and threats to energy utilities, so I am delighted that Horizon Power and Lishen Power will be working together to apply the knowledge gained from the battery use at Mungullah to renewable energy strategies," the Minister said.
Current capacity at the Mungullah Power Station is 17 MW
Carnarvon in WA's Gascoyne region has one of the highest distributed Renewable Energy Generation levels of all of Horizon's islanded networks. The average daily load of 6 MW is partially supplied by 121 individual PV installations totalling 1.3 MW in capacity
Minister's office - 6552 5700