Image credit: WFranz on Pixabay
A pumped hydro microgrid is being developed in Walpole, western Australia, that consists of a 1.5 MW pumped hydro facility, using two farm dams, that will store 30 MWh of electricity.
The facility is a joint project by Western Power and Power Research and Development. Earlier in April, Power Research and Development’s project was awarded $2 million as part of the McGowan Government’s Clean Energy Future Fund.
Walpole is at the end of a 125-km-long feeder line that is exposed to disruptive elements such as plants and animals, storms, lightning and bushfires. The pumped hydro solution aims to reduce the number of outages in Walpole community at no additional cost to businesses or the community. Western Power said this renewable energy solution will mitigate up to 80% of outages.
The facility is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2023.
“This project, despite being on a smaller scale, will be used as a template for other areas in the State, and possibly nationally and internationally,” said Energy Minister Bill Johnston. “A great collaboration between the State Government and Power Research and Development, this project will create jobs and opportunities for the WA community. Power outages in the town can be disruptive and improving reliability is a priority for Western Power.”
A microgrid is defined as a self-sufficient energy system that serves a discrete geographic footprint.