Derby benefits from Horizon Power’s smart solar solutions

August 06 2021

Horizon Power marked a significant milestone in its efforts to support the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan at the Derby Memorial Swimming Pool last night, announcing the completion of rooftop solar installations on 13 Shire of Derby/West Kimberley buildings and more than 1,100 energy-efficient streetlight upgrades.

The $5.2 million Derby Solar, Battery and Smart Streetlights project is a part of Horizon Power’s $75 million Renew the Regions program, aimed at stimulating regional economies and improving access to renewable energy in the regions.

The project was initiated to support the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley achieve a more cost-effective energy outcome and provides an innovative solution to customers in some of the state’s most remote locations.

Horizon Power engaged Derby’s Aboriginal-owned solar installers, Remote Solar Solutions, to safely install 283kW of rooftop solar across the Derby Shire’s public buildings, saving the Shire an average of $130,000 per year on electricity costs and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 230 tonnes annually.

The 1,100 new smart LED streetlights have significantly brightened the streets of Derby, improving night-time visibility and safety for pedestrians and drivers, and allow Horizon Power to monitor and respond to faults and outages in real-time.

The project milestones were marked by the Minister for Energy, Hon Bill Johnston, and Horizon Power CEO, Stephanie Unwin beneath the Derby pool’s new custom-made solar shade, which was officially unveiled last night as Horizon Power Hut.

The solar shade was built to facilitate a 40kW solar system, which will reduce the pool’s operating costs and provide a community space to shade its 20,000 annual visitors.

The new structure also frames the community artwork Derby Drift, a colourful 7-metre mural created by local artist Jessica Bidewell and over 50 of Derby’s children, which depicts the underwater wildlife of the area.

Horizon Power CEO Stephanie Unwin said the energy provider is committed to working closely with communities and customers to provide innovative customer solutions like those delivered on this project and help support the communities where it operates.

“This project has provided Horizon Power with an opportunity to partner with the Shire, local contractors and the community to give back something that makes a real difference, and which demonstrates we are serious about delivering energy solutions for regional growth and vibrant communities,” she said.

“The Derby Drift community art project was a special collaboration undertaken by Horizon Power, Jessica Bidewell, the Derby Youth Centre and Derby’s young artists to leave a legacy of pride.

“I am incredibly proud that we are able to deliver these meaningful outcomes and renewable energy solutions in support of Derby’s vibrant community.”

The final stage of the project will see 364kW of solar installed at the Derby Hospital and the deployment of a community battery to ensure the hospital can benefit from solar without impacting the ability for the local community to access renewable energy. Horizon Power expects the project to be completed in early 2022.

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Horizon Power acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.

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