Gas pipeline giant APA Group has formally opened a 19.25 MW Badgingarra Solar Farm in Hill River, Western Australia. The project is colocated with a 130 MW wind farm.
Western Australia’s South West has attracted the interest of Melbourne-based developer South Energy, which has proposed two utility-scale solar projects for the region. One has already secured development approval, while the other one will be discussed next week.
Stand-alone power systems (SPS) have reaffirmed its lead amongst technologies racing to transform energy in rural Western Australia.
Under the business-as-usual scenario, Western Australia could use up its Paris-Agreement 1.5°C compatible carbon budget within 12 years but a massive ramping up of renewable energy capacity would unlock significant economic opportunities for the state, finds a report by Berlin-based science and policy institute Climate Analytics.
In late September, Western Australia’s government-owned electric utility registered an approximate AUD 657 million ($442.8 million) loss – much of it attributed to asset and contract writedowns. However, the utility was quick to blame rooftop PV for eating into its revenues, while fixed costs remained unchanged or increased. Revenues for the utility were down 4.7% for the year, to AUD 2.8 billion.
Distributed energy producer EDL has officially opened a 23 MW power station that integrates solar with gas and diesel generation to power Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine in Western Australia. The project is part of an innovative hybrid microgrid, which will later add a wind array and battery storage.
Swiss investment firm SUSI Partners is investing up to $50 million in a residential solar-plus-battery project enabling participants from communities across Western Australia to generate and consume their own clean power for up to 90% of their needs. The project, which began a year ago, and involves residents leasing solar PV and battery systems from a not-for-profit organisation.
The Western Australian government is looking to retrain 100 electricity network workers in the installation and maintenance of standalone power systems. Solar and storage systems could replace large parts of the state’s electricity network and WA’s utilities are looking to reskill its workforce for the transition.
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