- Renewables expected to generate 80 per cent of Exmouth’s energy in the next three years
- Community sentiment helps shape decision-making for new generation solution
Horizon Power is exploring some exciting opportunities for a greener energy system in partnership with the community of Exmouth, with a target of generating up to 80 per cent of the town’s power from renewable energy sources in the next three years.
The new generation system will reflect the values of residents of the popular tourist destination, thanks to a robust community engagement plan.
Over 40 residents, business owners and local government representatives attended a community meeting in the town this week, with many expressing their appreciation to Horizon Power for consulting them, listening to their concerns, and incorporating their feedback into the planning process.
This was the second community meeting hosted by Horizon Power in the past year, designed to explore community appetite for a high penetration of renewable energy for the town and technology solutions to remove barriers to additional customer rooftop solar.
As inhabitants of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with strong environmental and cultural significance, Exmouth residents have expressed a strong desire to transition to a cleaner, greener solution. Although rooftop solar hosting capacity in Exmouth is currently exhausted, an interim release of 400kW is scheduled for 15 November, with a further release anticipated after March next year.
The second release will be made possible by the installation of a new 3.4MW battery energy storage system to be installed at the Exmouth Power Station early next year, as part of the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan. This will give more households and businesses the option to connect rooftop solar to the network and reduce their electricity costs.
A feasibility study conducted by Horizon Power demonstrated that a generation solution of up to 80 percent centralised renewable energy would deliver substantial financial and environment benefits for the broader Exmouth community and represent cost value for the Western Australian taxpayer.
An expression of interest process, conducted last month for possible future generation providers, attracted a significant level of interest from the private sector. The responses have been evaluated and shortlisted respondents will attend a briefing with Horizon Power next week.
The next step in the procurement process will be a closed tender and the appointment of a contractor to partner with Horizon Power in delivering the new generation solution once the existing generation contract for the town expires in September 2024.
Over 20 per cent of the town’s renewable energy is expected to be generated by distributed customer energy sources post 2024, with centralised renewable energy expected to contribute up to 60 per cent of the town’s requirements.
Horizon Power representatives at the community meeting presented a timeline to the community showing a target of achieving a 100 per cent renewable energy solution for Exmouth in the longer term.
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