Horizon Power’s poster child for the shift to a distributed renewable grid, the Western Australia Pilbara town of Onslow, says its solar and battery microgrid is already helping to deliver “more reliable” and cleaner power – at levels of up to 90 per cent renewables.
The W.A. regional utility said on Tuesday that the newly commissioned 1MW solar and battery microgrid had notched up some new milestones, including reliability testing, and the first stage of an intelligent control system.
The latter was being tested to ensure that the microgrid integrated effectively with the broader power system, once fully operational.
“We are achieving up to 90 per cent of the power being delivered in Onslow coming from renewable sources with the commissioning of the solar and battery,” a company spokesperson said.
“However, this is not constant and depends on how much demand, time of the day, cloud cover, etc. The expected reduction in CO2 emissions is 820 tonnes a year.”
“Before the commissioning of the solar and battery, we had 100 per cent fossil fuel generation in the town and we are aiming to reach 100 per cent of generation from renewable sources in the town, at certain times of the day and year, as an outcome of this pilot.
“We expect to achieve the highest levels of renewable energy penetration during the middle of the day in the cooler months.”
As we have reported on One Step, Horizon Power’s Renewable Energy Pilot in Onslow – the launching base for the massive Wheatstone LNG project owned by Chevron – combines a new 8MW gas-fired power plant with distributed and utility-scale solar and battery storage.
Horizon Power built the gas plant in Onslow which was commissioned last year, and this year has delivered the solar farm and battery.
Onslow residents have meanwhile been incentivised to install solar and battery at their homes as part of the project which tests the management of renewable energy in an isolated regional community.
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