Horizon Power is working with the North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) to train energy workers in the operation and maintenance of Standalone Power Systems (SPS), in an effort to support Western Australia’s energy future. 

Horizon Power has donated a 3kW SPS unit – one of many it’s installing across the state – to the East Perth TAFE campus.

The partnership will allow workers to be trained on SPS infrastructure, equipping them with necessary skills and knowledge to install and maintain the systems in their regions.

Horizon Power pioneered standalone power solutions in Western Australia, mainly for farmers, in response to the impacts of the 2015 Esperance bushfires.

SPS units typically consist of solar panels and battery storage with back-up diesel generation, delivering safer, greener, and more reliable power to customers.

The SPS unit contains four solar panels, each outputting 370W at peak, and three lithium-ion batteries, each with a nominal storage capacity of 2.84KWh.

The donation complements the State Government’s $25 million investment in modern equipment for Western Australian TAFE colleges, as part of a four-year program to upgrade TAFE equipment.

Horizon Power and NM TAFE have a Memorandum of Understanding covering the development of operations and maintenance training packages for a variety of new technologies including SPS units, hydrogen, community battery storage and Battery Energy Storage Systems.

Western Australian Minister for Training, Simone McGurk, said that the State Government knows there is significant opportunity for Western Australia to be a global clean energy superpower and that it needs a skilled workforce to achieve these goals.

“The new National Skills Agreement presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver the advanced skills base needed by industry right across the state to support the transition to net zero,” Ms McGurk said. 

“The rollout of Standalone Power Systems is part of the Western Australian Government’s drive toward a low-carbon future, and we welcome the partnership between North Metropolitan TAFE and Horizon Power to enable training in the new renewable energy field.

“Our TAFE and university sectors will be vital to training workers for jobs to deliver the clean energy transition.

“Many of the people working in power generation will have transferable skills needed for the transition to a bigger mix of renewable energy in the economy.”

Western Australian Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston, said that Horizon Power is committed to creating safe and reliable renewable energy alternatives for its regional and remote customers.

“As a major supplier of energy to regional Western Australia, Horizon Power, together with Western Power and Synergy, have a vital role to play in implementing the State Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy.

“The State Government has supported Horizon Power with $45.8 million to deliver 150 SPS systems in regional Western Australia.

“These additional units are on top of the 69 Horizon Power has already delivered and will be distributed in three tranches in the Gascoyne, Goldfields, and Esperance regions.

“Benefits of Standalone Power Systems include safer, more reliable and greener energy solutions for workers and communities.”

Featured image: Kyle McLaren, Horizon Power Generation Technician (Electrical) and Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Training. Image credit: Horizon Power.

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