Western Australia is 10 years ahead of the rest of the nation on the energy transformation journey, with regional WA leading the way.
“Why? Because the technological changes underway in the energy sector are best applied to microgrids – isolated power systems – and towns in regional WA have those in abundance,” Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor told the World Renewable Energy Conference held in Perth on 6-9 February.
Mr Tudor told the conference that trials are under development that will in time create more customer choice, with part of that being an increase in the amount of renewables incorporated into its microgrids.
At present some microgrids in towns in our service area, such as Carnarvon and Broome, have reached the capacity for how much solar energy they can host but that will soon be a thing of the past. Horizon Power’s revolutionary system blueprint work outlines the shift from traditional energy infrastructure to a future of more rooftop solar, batteries and stand alone power systems in each of Horizon Power’s electricity systems.
The Pilbara town of Onslow is the first of Horizon Power’s microgrids to benefit from this new energy future with up to 50% of the town’s energy needs to be delivered by a combination of PV and battery storage.
“This unique opportunity in Onslow will bring about the replacement of the entire aged traditional power system at a time when major resource developments are imposing a step change in energy demand, with a high Distributed Energy Resource (DER) end-state system. The project will be one of the largest comprehensive microgrid projects undertaken in Asia Pacific; with DER integrated, in collaboration with the community, at levels not previously achieved within remote microgrids.” Mr Tudor said.
WA recently made national headlines when Michael Leibreich, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, an energy research company with analysts and experts all over the world, told ABC radio: “Also we have a world champion at that here in WA, Horizon, who are providing resilient mini grids to remote communities. The knowledge they have on how to do that is probably the best in the world, how to deliver renewables.”
- What makes a system a microgrid is the Seamless integration of multiple generation sources and loads. Deployment of advanced meters, funded by the State Government, throughout Horizon Power’s service area also provides Horizon Power with the platform from which to better control the flow of solar energy into our microgrids and ensure it is balanced whilst protecting power supplies for the whole community.
- Horizon Power has 32 microgrids and three interconnected systems, including the North West Interconnected System in the Pilbara.
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Pictured above: Horizon Power employees Executive Assistant Leya Jose and Consumer Energy Projects Engineer Renato Pascucci.