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Onslow DER Project wins prestigious State industry award

Horizon Power’s Onslow Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Project was announced State winner of the 2020 Australian Institute of Project Management Achievement Awards, in the category of Regional Projects.

The joint submission was prepared with professional services company GHD, for the delivery of centralised assets as part of stages 1 and 2 of the $80 million project.

Horizon Power’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephanie Unwin said this was an outstanding achievement and recognition of the project management team’s shared vision and unity of purpose, overcoming many complex challenges which came with the project.

“Onslow DER was unchartered territory for Horizon Power,” Ms Unwin said. 

“Horizon Power recognised some time ago that distributed energy resources held great potential for remote communities, particularly where traditional fuels such as diesel often contribute to a high cost to serve electricity. 

“The successful delivery of Onslow DER has enabled us to achieve one of the first instances of a business-as-usual approach to utility management of DER assets in Australia,” Ms Unwin said.

The Project was delivered in two stages using Horizon Power’s Project Management Methodology. This provided a controlled and managed framework using a visible set of activities which were integrated into other frameworks. 

GHD was engaged as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Manager for the centralised assets delivered as part of stages 1 and 2 of the capital project.  This included a new modular gas power station (nominal 8 MW of installed capacity), a 15km long 33kV transmission line, a zone substation, an extension to the 11kV town distribution network, a 1MW centralised solar farm and a 1MW/1MWh battery bank.

The combined project team worked together to overcome a number of complex technical issues to build one of the most advanced microgrids in the world. This included mitigating the effects of a high level of intermittent rooftop solar generation, as well as reverse power flow. This was accomplished in tandem with the requirements of the central gas generation power station.

The Project Management Achievement Awards recognise and promote outstanding achievements in program and project leadership, and provide an opportunity to showcase exceptional project success.