Smart Connect Solar tech boosts rooftop PV access in Broome


Horizon Power said thousands of additional customers in the Western Australian town of Broome now have the opportunity to able to install rooftop solar without impacting the stability of the network following the introduction of its internet-connected Smart Connect Solar technology that allows for the effective management of high levels of solar energy.

The Smart Connect Solar platform utilises a distributed energy resource management system to analyse weather patterns and forecast energy generation and demand. This 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.

Horizon Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the launch of the Smart Connect Solar technology into Broome removes hosting capacity constraints that have previously limited the number of solar installations across the town.

In March 2022, Broome reached capacity for the number of rooftop solar systems it could safely have on the network without it becoming unstable.

“The demand for solar has been high in Broome and having the hosting constraints removed will mean thousands of additional customers will have the opportunity to benefit from rooftop solar,” Unwin said.

The introduction of Smart Connect Solar in Broome is part of a state-wide program which was launched by Horizon in February with the technology to be rolled out across all towns in utility’s service area throughout 2024.

“Since its launch in February, Smart Connect Solar has quickly extended to towns across our footprint, including those in the NWIS (North West Interconnected System) and a further 20 towns,” Unwin said. “Our next step is to introduce the technology to Exmouth, Sandstone, Denham, Gascoyne Junction and Mount Magnet, which will happen in Q3 2024.”

“By the end of the year, we will have deployed this cutting-edge technology to all our service areas, so that thousands of additional Western Australians can reap the benefits of rooftop solar.”

In 2019, Horizon became the first Australian utility to deploy the technology in a regional microgrid, using it to coordinate customer solar with utility-owned renewables to help power the town of Onslow.

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