Western Power will increase its fleet of emergency response generators to assist in the safe and reliable delivery of power supply to communities that may be affected by weather-related events this coming summer.
Western Power Executive Manager of Asset Operations Zane Christmas said the additional units would be an interim solution to managing climate change impacts and related weather events in regional towns at the end of long feeder lines while grid transformation was underway to address long-term reliability.
Western Power intends to source up to 14 emergency response generators (ERGs) in addition to the existing fleet of 12. ERGs can be connected to existing infrastructure to provide continued power generation as required when a town/community is experiencing an extended outage.
The additional generators are planned to be based at Western Power depots in Geraldton and Forrestfield for emergency deployment as required. These may be deployed at other locations experiencing reliability challenges.
“We understand the inconvenience that repeated or prolonged outages cause residents, particularly in regional and remote areas of network, which is why these ERGs will be used as back-up when needed.
“Our goal is to minimise impacts that extreme weather events have on power supply to communities and we’re working on a number of measures to improve network resilience and reliability including enhanced forecasting to better cope during consecutive extreme hot weather days.”
Where once the Western Power network consisted of only wires, poles and substations spread across vast tracts of the South West Interconnected System, it is now integrating technologies such as stand-alone power systems (SPS), microgrids, disconnected microgrids and battery storage units as part of a modern generation mix that better meets the needs of customers.
Western Power is transforming the grid to pave the way towards a decarbonised future, where much of the generation is supplied by renewable energy. This means a green energy supply for communities and improved energy solutions for regional and remote communities, which rely on long feeder lines.