Horizon Power thanks Esperance community for patience through unplanned power outages

March 09 2022

Horizon Power would like to thank the Esperance community for their ongoing support and apologises for the recent unplanned power outages.

Horizon Power’s Esperance customers experienced a power outage in the early hours of Sunday morning last week when an automated process at the town’s new power station was activated.

The outage occurred at 1.10 am on Sunday, 27 February and affected more than 8,000 customers across the town and surrounding agricultural area. The power was restored to approximately half of these customers within an hour, and then to the remaining customers by 2.45 am.

The outage occurred when an automated process to shut down generation was triggered during the final commissioning stage of a recently connected transformer.

“The power system automatically responded to the reduced demand for power at that time of the evening, but the reduction in online generators did not allow for the latest change in network conditions,” said Horizon Power’s General Manager Operations, Tiri Sanderson.

“This meant that a protection process was activated, shutting down the system and causing the outage,” she said.

“It’s certainly not the outcome we were anticipating, and we are really sorry for the inconvenience this outage has caused our Esperance customers.”

The recent outages follow two earlier unplanned outages that occurred in late January, which were caused by issues between the new Esperance power station and Horizon Power’s network.

“We don’t anticipate these unplanned outages to be an ongoing occurrence, but we do acknowledge the concern they are causing the Esperance community,” Ms Sanderson said.

“We are staging the delivery of our Esperance Power Project, and we have faced some teething issues as new generation assets come online and new connections take place. Fortunately, the challenges have also allowed us to remedy some unforeseen issues, which will ensure similar events don’t take place in the future, making the system more robust and responsive in the longer term.”

“We are grateful to our Esperance customers for their patience and support while our project team, local crews and contractors work to safely overcome these issues.”

The new Esperance power system will be supplied by up to 46 per cent renewable energy, generated by a 4MW solar array and two state-of-the-art wind turbines located at Contract Power Australia’s Shark Lake Renewables Hub.

The solar farm was commissioned in February and is already contributing to the town’s power supply. The wind turbines are undergoing final commissioning and are expected to be online by the end of March, and Horizon Power expects final commissioning for the project to be completed in April.

Find out more about the Esperance Power Project.

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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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