Horizon Power technical visionary David Edwards showing WA Energy minister Ben Wyatt the Solar Smart Monitor device. Image: Horizon Power.
BY ELIZABETH FABRI
A THREE year trial of various distributed energy technologies in Carnarvon, WA will examine the commercial viability of the high penetration distributed renewable energy systems in regional off-grid towns.
Horizon Power’s $7.1 million pilot project, partially funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will be rolled out across 90 homes and businesses in the region with the aim of facilitating increasing renewables in existing microgrids.
The project also intends to reduce the cost of systems by up to 25 per cent by overcoming technical and commercial barriers.
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said the project was the first of a series of trials Horizon planned to undertake and would test ‘internet of things’ energy metering, rooftop solar, household battery storage and inverters with remote monitoring and control devices, and weather forecast devices.
“These trials of distributed energy systems will explore the most cost-effective way of designing and managing a future grid,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“If we can resolve the technical and cost barriers of distributed energy systems and get metering, monitoring, solar and storage to work as a whole, we can make better use of these assets, reduce costs and empower prosumers.”
WA Energy minister Ben Wyatt said he was delighted ARENA had chosen to invest $1.9 million in the trial, which would see more renewable energy installed in regional WA.
“Energy technology is rapidly evolving and so is customer demand for renewable energy solutions,” Mr Wyatt said.
“People want to improve their energy use, reduce their power bills and have minimal impact on the environment.
“The key challenge is integrating new technologies and energy sources into our existing electricity networks to ensure all people continue to enjoy a safe, stable supply of power.”