Horizon Power is changing the maximum size of renewable energy systems it will approve for installation to ensure security of supply for all of our customers.
The new system size limits have been put in place to enable people to continue to generate their own electricity wherever possible but at the same time manage the fluctuations and impacts of changing renewable energy generation output and to protect and stabilise the local electricity system. This contributes to reliability and quality of the power supply.
As of 1 August 2011, the following limits will be applied to renewable energy installations in Horizon Power's service area:
Inverter size allowed for residential customers, not-for-profit groups and educational organisations
|Inverter size allowed for other customers|
|All other towns||5 kilowatts||5 kilowatts|
Previously, Horizon Power has accepted renewable energy systems up to 30 kilowatts per installation in all towns apart from Carnarvon and Broome where systems are currently approved to a maximum of 1.5 kilowatts.
Horizon Power's Community Relations Officer Jennifer Fry said a range of financial incentives had resulted in an unprecedented number of renewable energy installations throughout Western Australia. This combined with a review of data now available about the impact of these installations on the electricity systems, has resulted in new renewable energy installation limits.
"Horizon Power wants to ensure that as many customers as possible have the opportunity to invest in, and benefit from, renewable energy technology" Ms Fry said.
"Horizon Power remains committed to promoting the use of renewable energy however, reliability and continuity of power supply to the whole community is our highest priority.
"We have reviewed data about hosting capacities in all towns and this has allowed us to remove the 1.5kW size restriction for non-commercial customers in Broome; however, in the short term, from 1 August 2011, we will be unable to accept any applications for non-manageable systems in Carnarvon and Exmouth as the renewable energy hosting capacity has been reached in those locations."
Systems larger than the limits stated above, which can be managed and/or disconnected from the network at Horizon Power's request, may be approved in all areas. These installations will need to meet additional technical requirements in order to be approved.
Horizon Power is investigating long term, cost effective solutions to allow renewable energy hosting capacities to be increased in the future. Options being researched include:
- ongoing research into the impact of renewable energy systems on reliability of power supplies and review of hosting capacity;
- modification of renewable energy systems which are installed to allow Horizon Power to manage and/or disconnect them from the network as and when required; and
- storage facility for power generated by renewable energy installations.
Horizon Power advises renewable energy installations limits may be revised in the future depending on the hosting capacity available on a particular network. To find out how much hosting capacity is available in your town, please click here.
For more information about renewable energy hosting capacity, please click here.