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Capability and innovation

As the pre-eminent supplier of energy solutions to regional and remote Western Australia, Horizon Power has developed substantial capability and experience across the key utility functions of power generation, electricity transmission and procurement, distribution, and retail customer services.

Delivering to our regions

Horizon Power's customer base is spread throughout the State of Western Australia. We are committed to delivering power in a sustainable way to ensure we add value to the communities we serve, Horizon Power has a presence in each of the major towns in regional Western Australia which ensures that we can respond immediately to local issues and tailor our services to our customers' individual needs. Horizon Power employs community and customer relations managers in each regional area we service to provide a valuable gateway between consumers, regional stakeholders and our business.

Horizon Power's head office is based in the heart of the energy-intensive Pilbara region, in Karratha. Regional offices are based in Broome, Kununurra, Carnarvon, Esperance and Port Hedland, with administrative support being delivered from Perth. Half of our team at Horizon Power work and live in regional Western Australia which means we not only serve these communities - we are part of them.

Horizon Power champions regional development through the provision of critical infrastructure and connecting those communities. We work with the State Government and local authorities to develop regional Western Australia, including the Pilbara and other key resource-intensive areas. In the Pilbara, our strategy is to facilitate the development of network and transmission infrastructure to meet rapidly growing demand.

Building capacity to meet future demand

Horizon Power manages a diverse set of power systems including small to medium- scale liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, diesel, solar-diesel, and diesel-wind hybrids.

The Karratha Power Station - at the heart of our North-West Interconnected System - comprises two, high-efficiency gas turbines. The station's 86 megawatt capacity can be augmented to a closed-cycle configuration by using Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) that can generate electricity from waste heat from the gas turbines. The HRSG enables the plant to generate more than 30 per cent electricity for the same amount of fuel and will produce 35 per cent less carbon dioxide than ageing thermal stations.

Innovative off-grid power solutions

In 2010, Horizon Power commissioned solar-diesel hybrid power stations in Marble Bar and Nullagine in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, where temperatures can soar above 40 degrees Celsius in summer.

The stations were designed to allow solar energy to contribute up to 90 per cent of day time power needs. Power generation solutions are designed to take account of local energy needs and demands, and of local renewable energy resources. Systems are automated and modular for scalability and flexibility.

Asset renewal

Horizon Power has a rigorous asset management planning system in place for the ageing power infrastructure spread throughout the geographically and climatically diverse area we operate in.

The challenges are immense but work is progressing on schedule, and in partnership with leading private power providers in some cases.

More than $400 million has been committed over five years to building new power stations, upgrading networks and maintaining Horizon Power systems to ensure they meet the high standards of service reliability we set for ourselves.

Community consultation and engagement

Horizon Power aspires to improve the quality of life of residents of Aboriginal communities through upgraded power supplies to remote and town-based Aboriginal communities.

Electricity is an essential service that is critical for the delivery of health care and nutrition in remote communities.

The electricity service improvement projects we undertake involve a culturally sensitive and respectful approach to planning and forecasting energy needs. Where possible, employment, training, education and business opportunities for local people are provided to capture social and economic benefits within communities.

Horizon Power currently employs seven Remote Community Utilties Workers who are Aboriginal people from communities being trained to maintain the electricial network and power stations in communities.

As part of our project delivery, education is made available to community residents on a range of topics including electrical safety and energy efficiency.

Horizon Power is currently working on ways of improving the customer service for Aboriginal customers in remote communities.

Horizon Power has also introduced 1000 pre-payment meters in Aboriginal communities which allows each household to budget and pay immediately for the electricity they consume, rather than receiving a two-monthly bill.

Pre-payment meters which include smart technology, for example allowing meters to be connected, disconnected or read remotely, are also being investigated.

Last updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2012 1:16 PM