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Perenjori big community battery saves the day ......well night

January 1, 2020 2 minutes read

Western Power hired Balance to try a world-first to improve the situation – installing a large community battery for the town that could instantaneously provide between two and four hours of back-up power when the line went down.

Given most of the time Perenjori only lost power for a couple of hours, the battery would hopefully tide them over while the fix was happening, and reduce the amount of time without power during more serious faults.

An automated SMS notification system also provides warning to the township of impending outages.

The battery energy storage system, BESS for short, was installed on the outskirts of town in 2017 and is connected to and kept charged by the main network.

As it was the first time anyone had installed anything like this in Australia, we learnt a lot through the installation process. It took us longer to integrate the battery into the network than we expected, but we have persevered and it’s now working really well.

Although BESS was expected to have a minimum of two-hour charge, it has exceeded expectations, powering the town for longer stretches of four to five hours.

The 2019 report suggests BESS is really paying off, with Perenjori experiencing just under six hours total of outages for the year, compared to nearly 30 hours two years previously.

“We have had less issues on the feeder line this year, so typically the number of outages would be higher. But either way BESS has covered most of the ones that have happened, so the town only had five hours total of power outages last year.

Being able to demonstrate that this kind of community battery unit can work for edge of grid locations, Western Power is looking at other places where this might work as part of their modular and autonomous network.

Perenjori big community battery saves the day ......well night