WA energy minister Mike Nahan has announced state-owned energy network operator Western Power will contribute $300,000 for a feasibility study into a microgrid between Geraldton and Kalbarri.

“The Kalbarri microgrid will be an important test for applying technology in an innovative way to improve electricity supply for regional communities while using the network more sustainably and affordably,” Dr Nahan said.

“This is a model that could be used as a blueprint for other regional areas and help in the development of further renewable generation across the rural edges of the electricity network.”

The six-month feasibility study will consider the best way to develop an electricity system that interacts with the network to supply the Kalbarri and push excess power down the line.

The smart system would be able to reverse power flows overnight when stored energy was insufficient to meet demand and disconnect from the larger network should a fault occur.

The network between Geraldton and Kalbarri is commonly affected by extended power outages due to windborne salt and dust.

“It really is an exciting time in the electricity industry and these projects put WA at the forefront of the application of new technologies on a large scale,” Dr Nahan said.

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