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.