Power project boost

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Taelor Pelusey

Swiss sus­tain­able in­vestor SUSI has com­mit­ted $12.5 mil­lion to fund WA’s first “vir­tual power plant”, soon to roll out in Duns­bor­ough and spread through­out the South West.

The Duns­bor­ough Com­mu­nity En­ergy Project is the first 100 per cent pri­vately funded plant of its kind in Aus­tralia and will have up to 1000 so­lar and bat­tery sys­tems in­stalled in par­tic­i­pants’ homes, then leased from the newly formed, not-for-profit group for a flat fee.

Perth-based Red­back En­ergy has also signed on, pro­vid­ing the in­vert­ers, ser­vices and soft­ware to co-or­di­nate the plant, and do­nat­ing $250 from ev­ery in­stal­la­tion into the DCEP group’s com­mu­nity fund.

The project will start as soon as 100 par­tic­i­pants sign up and is ex­pected to pump out 6.5MW at peak times, equat­ing to about 9.5 gi­gawatt hours a year.

It is pro­jected to dis­place about 7kt of car­bon emis­sions a year and ease pres­sure on the strained grid.

DCEP’s Emma Mor­gan said the model made sus­tain­able en­ergy con- sump­tion ac­ces­si­ble, pro­vid­ing up to 90 per cent of house­holds’ needs while re­mov­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den of equip­ment re­pairs and up­grades.

The group also hopes it will lead to a deal with Syn­ergy and West­ern Power, sup­port­ing the grid at peak time, gen­er­at­ing in­come to be put back into the com­mu­nity.

“By hav­ing a vir­tual power plant in the South West, or many vir­tual power plants, we’re ac­tu­ally tak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant load off the grid,” Ms Mor­gan said.

SUSI has fore­shad­owed qua­dru­pling its in­vest­ment to $50 mil­lion to ex­pand across the South West from Bun­bury to Mar­garet River.

Ms Mor­gan is op­ti­mistic the scheme can be repli­cated across re­gional WA.

In­for­ma­tion nights will be held on Oc­to­ber 1 at The Move­ment Fit­ness and Well­be­ing from 6.30-8.30pm and on Oc­to­ber 2 at the Mer­chant and Marker from 6.30-8.30pm.

Taelor Pelusey Pic­ture:

Emma Mor­gan and the Duns­bor­ough com­mu­nity En­ergy Project will har­ness en­ergy of the sun for WA's first vir­tual power plant.

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