Minister for Energy, Ben Wyatt, was in Onslow this week to visit Horizon Power's distributed energy resources (DER) microgrid project and celebrate the company reaching a significant milestone in the development of Australia’s largest microgrid.
The Minister and his family joined Managing Director Frank Tudor, Chairman Stephen Edwell, project team members, representatives from the Shire of Ashburton and other distinguished guests, for a tour of the newly completed gas-fired power station by Project Director, Maurice Ryan.
The power station is the first major stage of the project, and is designed to efficiently contract in size as the renewable energy contribution increases, or expand to meet future growth requirements.
Stage One also involved the construction of a new transmission line, zone substation and distribution network extension, enabling all of Onslow’s energy needs to be met by the new power station from Saturday, 14 July 2018.
Stage Two will see the development of a centralised solar farm and energy storage system, with construction scheduled to commence in October this year.
Minister Wyatt explained "This microgrid project will ultimately consist of the power station we're looking at today, coupled with a range of distributed solar and battery storage systems, to maximise the amount of renewable energy available to the community of Onslow."
The benefits of a microgrid for Onslow residents include improved affordability, safety and reliability of electricity supply, a reduced carbon footprint and greater energy independence.