Coral Bay is the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef World Heritage Area in Northwestern Australia, where power demand increases significantly during the tourist season. A PowerStore grid-stabilizing system and DCS power management solution oversees the town’s power supply, which consists of seven 320 kilowatt (kW) low-load diesel generation units combined with three 200 kW wind turbines. PowerStore’s 500 kW flywheel technology enables the wind turbines to supply up to 95 percent of Coral Bay’s energy supply at times, with a total annual wind penetration of 45 percent, while maintaining city grid standards of power stability and quality. Power station data indicates more than 80 percent of Coral Bay’s power is wind generated for one-third of the year. The data also shows that for nearly 900 hours per year, wind provides more than 90 percent of Coral Bay’s power supply. PowerStore maximizes an environmentally friendly solution.

The PowerStore is a compact and versatile flywheel-based grid stabilizing generator. Its main purpose is to stabilize power systems against fluctuations in frequency and voltage. It includes state-of-the-art inverters and virtual generator control software. It enables the integration of intermittent and often erratic renewable generation and the higher utilization of renewable energy generators, protecting remote communities from exposure to volatile oil prices.

PowerStore safeguards conventional microgrids, and ensures the safe integration of large amounts of wind and solar energy, reducing emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. High-speed software controls the power flow into and out of the flywheel, essentially making it a high inertia electrical shock absorber that can instantly smooth out power fluctuations generated by wind turbines or solar arrays.

PowerStore acts like a STATCOM (advanced grid technology that quickly stabilizes voltage and improves power quality) and in addition is capable of rapidly absorbing or injecting real power within an isolated power network. It can stabilize both voltage and frequency, hold 18 MWs (megawatt seconds) of energy and shift from full absorption to full injection in 1 millisecond to stabilize the grid.