Horizon Power’s Carnarvon DER trials picks up award

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From among sixty-three submissions from APEC economies, Horizon Power’s utility scale energy storage project took out the silver gong at the Energy Smart Communities Initiatives awards. The Carnarvon DER trials, partially funded by ARENA, test the integration of DER into regional off-grid towns making use of microgrids.

The Carnarvon DER trials began in 2018 and are set to run for three years. David Edwards, Horizon Power’s Technical Visionary said the project team were honoured to have received the award. “This is an award that we proudly share with our partners Murdoch University who are undertaking the data analysis for the trials,” David said.

The data collection throughout the three-year trial will help Horizon Power to develop an advanced model for integrating more solar PV into towns that have very high levels of rooftop solar penetration.

The trial involved the installation of a 3 kW rooftop system, a solar inverter, 10 kWh lithium-ion battery and battery inverter, DER control technology and a Wattwatchers monitoring device in the homes of 10 trial participants. In return for this equipment, participants provide Horizon with access to their system to test DER visibility and control; personal electricity consumption data; management of battery usage in peak demand; and savings made on their electricity bills. The information is collected to allow Horizon Power to best integrate household PV and battery systems into the network without jeopardising, and hopefully improving, electricity network operation.

“These trials could represent the future of energy generation in remote and regional areas,” said Edwards, “moving us away from fossil fuelled generation.”

With the three-year trial period behind them, interested parties can observe a visualisationof the data-sets provided by participants, including PV system output, as well as a sky camera and meteorological data to show the fluctuations of solar PV generation as clouds obscure the sun.

The coastal town of Carnarvon is proving an experimental hotbed for Horizon Power which already trialled two 1000 kW battery units at the nearby 170 MW Mungullah Power Station.