Re­new­able en­ergy in Onslow

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

Onslow will soon be­come the site of Aus­tralia’s largest dis­trib­uted en­ergy mi­cro­grid, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of a new project that aims to even­tu­ally de­liver more than 50 per cent of the town’s elec­tric­ity needs with re­new­able en­ergy.

Min­is­ter for En­ergy Mike Na­han made the an­nounce­ment at a func­tion in Onslow last Fri­day and de­scribed the new grid as con­sist­ing of a mix of a 5.25 megawatt gas-fired mod­u­lar power sta­tion, dis­trib­uted so­lar en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and bat­tery stor­age.

“This will be Aus­tralia’s largest dis­trib­uted en­ergy mi­cro­grid, cre­at­ing a new era of en­ergy com­pe­ti­tion and ef­fi­ciency for house­holds and busi­nesses,” he said.

Dr Na­han said the idea for the mi­cro­grid had arisen out of a long-term plan to phase out the ex­ist­ing but now in­suf­fi­cient Chevron power plant in Onslow, when the State gov­ern­ment had seen the op­por­tu­nity to in­cor­po­rate more re­new­able forms of en­ergy into the project.

“We are hop­ing to have up to 70 per cent of the en­ergy even­tu­ally com­ing from so­lar,” he said.

He said it was “a bit of luck” the project was be­ing pi­loted in Onslow and it was an ex­per­i­men­tal project Hori­zon Power would use lessons from in other places.

The $106 mil­lion project is be­ing funded by the Chevron-op­er­ated Wheat­stone project and State gov­ern­ment as part of their State Devel­op­ment Agree­ment, and will be im­ple­mented by Hori­zon Power.

Hori­zon Power man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Frank Tu­dor said the com­pany had been asked to “start down this path” about two to three years ago, based on their mi­cro­grid tech­nol­ogy in re­mote ar­eas across the State and ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships in those com­mu­ni­ties.

Min­is­ter for State Devel­op­ment Bill Marmion said all ma­jor par­ties agreed the re­design of the power sta­tion was the best way to in­te­grate new re­new­able en­ergy tech­nol­ogy and en­sure a more sus­tain­able en­ergy sup­ply.

Dr Na­han said the project was ex­pected to pro­vide lo­cal jobs and would lead the way for more projects in the fu­ture.

Work is set to start in early 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.