Solar Systems Replace Electricity Network in Australian First

In an Australian first, a WA power company has removed part of its network to install solar panels and battery storage instead.

State-owned Horizon Power installed a 10.8kW solar array and 25kWh of battery storage on one property, rather than connect it to the network.

Horizon Power will install 17 independent solar power systems in the Esperance region. As part of the project, 64km of poles and wires will be removed.

This makes Horizon Australia’s first electricity utility to remove part of its poles and wires network.

Solar power and batteries more reliable: minister

The move got the thumbs up from WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston, who visited the property near Esperance.

“With its own solar panels, batteries, inverters and back-up diesel generator, a standalone power system can supply power 24/7, regardless of the weather, and is more reliable and safer,” Johnston said.

In a region like Western Australia, connectivity is an issue. With a relatively small population spread out over vast distances, maintaining electricity distribution networks, and building new ones, is costly.

Network poles and wires are also unreliable, subject to outages from weather events, farm machinery and bushfires.

In fact, it was an extreme weather event just across the border in South Australia that caused the 2016 statewide blackout.

Solar power and batteries for home, business

The WA experience demonstrates that the key to reliable electricity is independence from the grid. But unlike the Esperance example, this doesn’t mean you need to cut off from the grid entirely.

It’s still possible to have solar energy independence while remaining connected to the electricity network. In fact, connection to the grid means you can get more out of your system via feed-in tariffs and even joining a virtual power plant (VPP).

Installing a Tesla Powerwall 2 or Enphase battery storage means you can power your appliances during blackouts.

This is not just true for homes. Businesses can also take advantage of solar power and batteries for lower operating costs and reliability.

Spend some time on the phone with us to discuss the various options available to your home or business. Submit your details below and we’ll give you a call.

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