Horizon expands software rollout to enable more regional rooftop solar


Horizon Power has announced that its Smart Connect Solar technology will be deployed across the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) that services the Pilbara region and another 20 towns in regional Western Australia (WA) in a move that will eliminate solar installation capacity constraints and enable more customers to access rooftop solar.

Access to rooftop solar in some regional WA towns has been restricted to limit overloading local microgrids with high levels of solar energy but Horizon said the Smart Connect Solar project, launched in Carnarvon last month, will remove those hosting capacity constraints,

Horizon said Smart Connect Solar works with a distributed energy resource management system to predict weather patterns and accurately forecast energy generation and demand.

“This innovative approach enables real-time orchestration of a customer’s solar generation, effectively mitigating the risk of voltage and frequency fluctuations that could destabilise the electricity system and cause supply disruptions,” the utility said.

Horizon was the first Australian utility to deploy the technology in a regional microgrid, using it 2109 to coordinate customer solar with utility-owned renewables to help power the town of Onslow.

Horizon said the technology has now been launched in the NWIS towns of Karratha, Port Hedland, South Hedland, Point Samson, Cossack and Roebourne.

It has also been rolled out in 20 towns in the Kimberley, Mid West and Gascoyne and Esperance and Goldfields regions. This includes Derby, Wyndham, Halls Creek, Lombadina, Kalumburu, Warmun, Coral Bay, Cue, Meekatharra, Wiluna, Yalgoo, Hopetoun, Laverton, Leonora, Norseman, Camballin, Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Bidyadanga and Nullagine.

Horizon Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the technology will be deployed to all towns in its service area by 2025, enables thousands of more customers throughout regional WA to access rooftop solar.

“It equips Horizon Power with the necessary technical capabilities to fulfil our commitment to ensuring zero customer refusals when connecting rooftop solar by 2025 across our networks,” she said.

Horizon said the staged rollout will also support regional solar installation businesses, with demand for solar expected to increase once hosting limits are removed.

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