WA town leading the way in renewable integration

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The solar + storage project was delivered by the Western Australian Government owned regional utility Horizon Power with the aim of integrating traditional thermal generation with solar PV and battery storage systems, maximising renewable energy penetration. The completion of the solar and energy storage component marks another significant milestone in the Onslow Distributed Energy Resources project. 

Horizon Power Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the work underway in Onslow was a significant part of the State’s renewable energy transformation, building both Western Australian capability and building more renewable-friendly systems for our regional communities.

“The benefit to the community from this stage of the project is more reliable, cleaner and greener power through the incorporation of utility grade solar and battery assets into the power infrastructure,” said Unwin. 

Much like their fellows in Carnarvon, Onslow customers have also been incentivised to install solar and battery technology in their homes as part of the project which seeks to test the management of renewable energy in isolated regional communities. 

One particular aspect of this management is an intelligent control software platform applicable to microgrids designed to manage the renewable energy sources in a coordinated way. The effect is to reduce power fluctuations, increase power quality and coordinate generation with other energy suppliers. 

“The microgrid management technology is an amazing piece of technology that is new to this State” said Unwin, “and allows for the careful management of the various energy sources in the town.”

Chevron’s massive Wheatstone LNG project has provided a financial contribution (more than $250 million in social and critical infrastructure as part of its State Development Agreement) for Horizon Power to build the power infrastructure for both stages.