WA government utility acquires 50% stake in local solar business


The acquisition, Horizon Power says, will help it meet its carbon targets and service its 34 microgrids and 117 remote communities as it moves towards renewable systems.

The investment from state-owned Horizon Power into West Australian Alternative Energy (WAAE) is intended to “address the renewable energy sector’s wide-ranging supply chain issues, which are impacting the delivery of equipment and projects, as well as a constrained local workforce,” Horizon said.

The partnership between the two companies came after WAAE successfully completed Horizon Power’s Kalumburu hybrid solar project in the Kimberly region in 2022.

The microgrid project involved a 700 kW solar farm and a 1.78 MWh battery capable of meeting the majority of the 400-strong community’s power needs. While the system still included a diesel genset, the microgrid was designed to be able to run completely on renewable energy when weather allowed.

A PEG racking system was used for the Kalumuru solar array.

Image: Horizon Power

The project was the first of six renewable energy systems to be rolled out in the Kimberley as part of Horizon’s Remote Communities Centralised Solar Project which will see up to 4 MW of solar PV installed in six remote communities.

The $11.6 million scheme will see solar and battery systems installed in the Warmun, Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin, and Bidyadanga communities as well.

This is an example of a much bigger push within Horizon Power to transition most of its service area to renewable standalone power systems and microgrids which have emerged as clear frontrunner for the utility in terms of both cost and climate targets. 

Horizon Power services customers across 2.3 million square kilometres.

Image: Horizon Power

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