Second-hand wind turbines, solar and a battery will combine to power a remote mine in Western Australia.
The Port Gregory microgrid provides 60 to 70 per cent of the customer’s electricity requirements. Surplus renewable energy can be exported to the Western Power network ensuring smoother operation and higher reliability power quality to the customer’s wet plant (GMA Garnet). Should short grid outages or disturbances occur, the customer’s power supply is uninterrupted.
How the project works
This project consists of a hybrid 2.5 MW wind farm, 1 MW solar farm and a 2 MW / 0.5 MWh battery that will provide power to a GMA Garnet’s (GMA) garnet mining and processing operation in Port Gregory, Western Australia.
Advanced Energy Resources (AER), a Perth-based renewable energy developer, generator and electricity retailer will build, own and operate the site, due to be commissioned in December 2019.
When complete, the project will be only the second grid-connected project in Australia (after Kennedy Energy Park), and the first in Western Australia to combine solar, wind and a battery into a single hybrid plant.
Report: Port Gregory Microgrid Knowledge Sharing Final Report
This Report provides insights into the construction and operation of the Prot Gregory Microgrid. The Port Gregory Microgrid comprises a 2.5MW wind farm, 1MW solar farm, and a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) incorporating 2x 2.2MVA back-to-back inverters and 0.5MWh battery, providing transient stability and generation smoothing functionality.
Report: Advanced Energy Resources Lessons Learnt
This Report shares lessons learnt from designing and constructing a renewable energy system that could connect to the weak grid, facilitate high penetration of customer-side renewable generation and export surplus electricity to the Western Power network.
Area of innovation
This project is expected to demonstrate multiple areas of innovation including:
- a new grid connection design that overcomes challenges associated with connecting large amounts of renewable energy to weak grids, provides backup power, and facilitates high penetrations of customer-side renewable generation
- in an Australian-first, this project will use wind turbines from northern Germany that were decommissioned and refurbished in Australia by AER.
The innovative grid connection uses a back-to-back inverter configuration to separate the customer-side generation from the network, which simplifies the grid connection process. In addition, the battery will smooth fluctuations in generation and load output, which will help stabilise voltage on the local network.
This project showcases an innovative way of delivering low cost, reliable renewable energy to large energy users in fringe of grid areas, delivering several Australian-first ideas.
Massive batteries are helping to keep the grid stable as more renewable generation comes online.