The Western Australian State Government has entered stage two of one of Australia’s leading edge microgrid projects by integrating solar panels and battery storage systems in Onslow’s microgrid.
This milestone in the Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot follows the opening of stage one in July 2018, which comprises a gas-fired power station and associated infrastructure.
The pilot will integrate solar panel and battery storage systems with traditional energy sources to maximise the amount of renewable energy in Onslow’s microgrid.
The pilot also includes a bulk, centralised, one-megawatt solar farm and a one megawatt-hour network battery, which will help supply the town from May 2019.
Horizon Power has signed a contract with Western Australian company Mechanical Project Services to deliver and install the solar and battery storage systems to Onslow customers.
Once installed, the systems will be integrated with Horizon Power’s Distributed Energy Resources Management System.
Horizon Power General Manager Commercial Services and Finance, Sami Zouad, said the opportunity to access solar and battery systems at a reduced rate would provide Onslow customers with the ability to reduce their own electricity costs, while allowing Horizon Power to demonstrate a high-renewables energy future.
“The work in Onslow, where the sun shines up to 12 hours a day, is helping Horizon Power to prepare for this future,” Mr Zouad said.
“The project delivers on our commitment to the Onslow community and the state to enable a significant expansion of renewable energy onto our networks which can be managed for the benefit of customers and Horizon Power.
WA Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston, said, “The Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot is a landmark initiative that will help build a cleaner, brighter, renewable energy future.
“Onslow residents and businesses will get self-generated power and reduced power bills by installing the solar panel and battery storage systems.”
Under its State Development Agreement, Chevron’s Wheatstone Project has provided a financial contribution for Horizon Power to build the power infrastructure for both stages.