Still more to go on solar connection to meet regulations
In response to your article, (Solar bill shock for health centre, 27/10) I want to provide more information to ensure your readers receive some balance in this debate.
The Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service installed 100kW of solar at their premises in Wiluna before agreement was reached with Horizon Power on the connection of the solar system to our network and the costs associated with that.
This is a very large solar array in a very small electrical system (760kW), so it requires feed-in management to prevent it disrupting reliable supply to other customers or damaging our power station in Wiluna.
Horizon Power requires all larger customers to pay their part of the connection costs.
NAHS has a quote to connect, but has not at this stage accepted that quote.
There have been several changes to this quote as the design and connection requirements have changed.
In addition, the system the Health Service has installed requires additional work to comply with WA’s electrical safety regulations and the customer’s electrical contractor has requested a number of extensions to satisfy the requirements of these regulations.
The inflammatory quote included in the article from WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple, that Horizon Power is totally incompetent, is not supported by the facts.
Mr Chapple says it is about connecting four wires — this is also inaccurate — engineeering design work and analysis is required before connection.
In this case, the installer working for NAHS chose to install the panels before reaching agreement with Horizon Power and is now blaming Horizon Power for failing to connect even though there has been no agreement on price and further work is required to meet minimum regulatory standards.
The feed-in management system enables Horizon Power to control the output from the NAHS system to prevent it tripping the local power station and the whole community losing power.
We must ensure we protect the interests of all of our customers.
Horizon Power must retain ownership of the device because it is encoded with our security protocols which secure our power stations and other infrastructure.
Horizon Power is supportive of renewable energy, however it needs to balance the needs of those wanting solar with those of non-solar customers as well as taxpayers generally.
Horizon Power is a very customer-focused business and would prefer to deal directly with the customer to ensure clear communication. Craig Julian, general manager Non Interconnected Systems