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AER GMA Garnet Microgrid

At Port Gregory in the Mid West, Advanced Energy Resources are working on an $11.2 million microgrid to supply GMA Garnet's nearby mine. It will provide up to 70 per cent of the mine's power needs. Balance's scope is to design, supply and install the microgrid and integration with the wind and solar farm.

Location:
GMA Garnet Mine Site. Port Gregory WA
Project:
AER GMA Garnet Microgrid
Solution:
2.5MW wind farm, 1MW solar farm and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery.
Commissioned:
Under Construction
AER GMA Garnet Microgrid

This form of micro-grid has not previously been utilised in Australia and specific similar examples cannot be found internationally.

At Port Gregory in the Mid West, Advanced Energy Resources are working on an $11.2 million microgrid to supply GMA Garnet's nearby mine.

Arena announced today it would chip in $3 million.

The project will include a 2.5MW wind farm, 1MW solar farm and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery.

It will provide up to 70 per cent of the mine's power needs.

Arena chief executive Darren Miller said customers at the fringe of power grids often suffered network outages, so microgrids with batteries could improve reliability.

Arena will be using refurbished wind turbines that had formerly operated in Germany.

"In Europe, there is a significant market for refurbished wind turbines, as wind farms increase their capacity by upgrading smaller turbines for larger, more powerful ones," Mr Miller said.

"Now, AER has brought experience from the European market to enable them to give these turbines a second life in Western Australia,.

"This grid connection design will overcome challenges associated with connections to weak grids, providing backup power, and facilitating high penetrations of customer-side renewable generation.

"Effectively, this approach allows the solar and wind to operate in a microgrid with the battery and inverters, which avoided the need to upgrade the network."

This novel solution allows the expansion of renewable generation on the fringe of utility networks near load centres. It also has the ability to support transmission and distribution feeders by improving local power quality and reducing peak demand. This will substantially improve grid robustness and undoubtedly be of benefit to all electricity users.