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Horizon Power offers Esperance customers off-grid electricity supply

Customers in Esperance who experienced the wrath of the bushfires in November last year are being offered solar-driven stand-alone power systems instead of being reconnected to the grid.

Horizon Power is at the forefront of changes taking place in the electricity industry in Western Australia which is being driven by the innovative application of renewable energy technology and falling costs of that technology.

The opportunity to install the stand-alone power systems has arisen from the devastation of the November 2015 Esperance bushfires which resulted in the destruction of more than 320 power poles and hundreds of kilometres of powerlines.

Horizon Power rebuilt the vast majority of the network, reconnecting more than 400 customers within 10 days of the fires.

The stand-alone power systems have been offered to customers in those areas of the network which had previously supplied only one or two customers along long stretches of powerline.

“We identified that instead of rebuilding this part of the network - which is more susceptible to adverse weather and other causes of power interruptions –we could offer these customers a dedicated renewable energy power system which is not connected to the grid,” Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor said.

Four customers across five properties have taken the opportunity to partner with Horizon Power on this project. 

“These customers are pioneers of these new systems, which will be owned and operated by Horizon Power. The customers will pay the same cost for their electricity supplied by these units as they did previously for power supplied by poles and wires,” Mr Tudor said.

“While the units won’t be connected to the network, customers will receive the same service standards as those who are – including being able to call and rely on Horizon Power to respond to any unplanned power interruptions.”

The stand-alone power systems consist of solar panels and batteries and are backed up by diesel generation.

Rodney Locke is a farmer in Cape Le Grande, east of Esperance, who will witness the installation of the very first unit on his property this week.

“I am delighted to be the first Horizon Power customer in Western Australia to receive a stand-alone power system. I saw it as an opportunity to have something more than we had ever hoped for – a reliable, clean energy source which will deliver even better service than we had in the past. It won’t be affected by outages caused by maintenance on the network or weather-related events,” Mr Locke said.

Please note: Managing Director Frank Tudor will be available for interview at the Over the Horizon forum in Esperance from 12.25 – 12.45 pm on 10 March 2016.

For more information, contact Goldfields Esperance

Retail and Community Manager Donna Gibson on 9072 3400