The Western Australian Government has launched the Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot – the second stage of one of Australia’s most cutting edge microgrid projects.
Onslow is a coastal town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia (positioned roughly 1,386 kilometres north of Perth) that has a rising demand for electricity. Power is a critical piece of infrastructure in Onslow that needs to be further developed to ensure reliable and safe supply to the local community.
The Onslow Microgrid Project aims to achieve this. Stage One of the project saw the construction of a gas-fired modular power station, designed to be able to efficiently contract in size as the renewable energy contribution increases.
The WA Government granted approval for Stage Two of the project in May 2018, which will include the construction of a bulk, centralised 1 megawatt (MW) solar farm and 1 MW/1 MWh energy storage system, as well as smaller distributed rooftop solar PV and battery storage systems throughout the Onslow community.
The entire project is targeting 50 per cent of Onslow’s electricity needs to be delivered through renewable energy.
Horizon Power has signed a contract with local company Mechanical Project Services to deliver and install the solar and battery storage systems to Onslow customers.
Once installed, the systems will be integrated with Horizon Power’s Distributed Energy Resources Management System.
In commenting on the Pilot’s launch, Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot is a landmark initiative that will help build a cleaner, brighter, renewable energy future.
“Onslow residents and businesses will get self-generated power and reduced power bills by installing the solar panel and battery storage systems,” the Minister said.
“This announcement follows the McGowan Government’s launch of the Energy Transformation Strategy, which aims to deliver a cleaner, affordable and more reliable energy to households and businesses for decades to come,” he added.
Under its State Development Agreement, Chevron’s Wheatstone Project has provided a financial contribution for Horizon Power to build the power infrastructure for both stages of the project.