Hori­zon re­gional tech trial

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - 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 con­sumers.” 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."

“Th­ese tri­als of dis­trib­uted en­ergy sys­tems will ex­plore the most cost-ef­fec­tive way of de­sign­ing and man­ag­ing a fu­ture grid.”

Im­age: Hori­zon Power.

Hori­zon Power tech­ni­cal vi­sion­ary David Ed­wards show­ing WA En­ergy min­is­ter Ben Wy­att the So­lar Smart Mon­i­tor de­vice.

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