Utility Horizon Power installed the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, along with battery energy storage units and backup diesel generators, after a major bush fire last year destroyed its transmission lines to the farms in the county of Esperance.
The solar systems were installed at no cost to the property owners, with power tariffs unchanged, and will be operated and maintained by Horizon Power.
Western Australia’s energy minister, Mike Nahan, said the project was a first for his state.
‘I commend Horizon Power for identifying that we could offer these customers a solar-powered, stand-alone power system, which incorporates battery technology and is not connected to the grid,’ Nahan said.
‘This is a WA-first project offering an innovative solution for customers instead of rebuilding this part of the network, which is more susceptible to adverse weather and other causes of power interruptions.’
Nahan said Horizon Power is working to identify other sites where on-site power systems could offer a viable alternative to grid connection, maintenance or replacement.