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Onslow Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Project

The Onslow DER Project will connect traditional energy sources with distributed solar and battery solutions, to maximise the amount of renewable energy in Onslow.

Onslow is set to be the home of Australia's largest distributed energy resource (DER) microgrid which will target a high penetration of the town's electricity needs to be serviced from renewable energy sources.

The microgrid will include a mix of distributed renewables, modular gas powered generation and battery storage aimed at achieving a high level of renewable energy throughout the town. 

Stage One

Stage One was completed in July 2018 and has commenced servicing the immediate electricity needs of the Onslow community.

It included the construction of: 

  • A gas-fired modular power station that is designed to be able to efficiently contract in size as the renewable energy contribution increases, or expand to meet future growth requirements
  • A new transmission line, zone substation and distribution network extension.

Stage Two

Stage Two commenced in October 2018, involves additional centralised infrastructure construction combined with distributed solar PV and batteries:

  • A solar farm adjacent the new power station 
  • A battery energy storage system at the zone substation
  • Distributed solar PV systems across the system
  • Distributed batteries across the system.​

Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage system (BESS)

Construction of the Stage 2 centralised infrastructure is now completed with the 1 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) located at the zone substation being energised onto the Onslow network in May 2019. The Solar Farm located adjacent to the power station was energised in June 2019.

Horizon Power have now entered into a 60 day reliability period with CPS National for the Solar Farm and Contract Power Group for the BESS. Completion of the reliability period is expected in September 2019.

Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot

Horizon Power is making significant investments in developing its renewable energy capability and expertise. 

Currently, there is a limit to how much renewables can be connected to the grid in any one town. A high volume of renewables, particularly in a small town, can cause issues with the power supply.

The distributed solar PV and battery pilot was announced by Minister Bill Johnston in March 2019. The pilot will integrate solar panel and battery storage systems with traditional energy sources to maximise the amount of renewable energy in Onslow's microgrid.

This Pilot was launched into the Onslow community on 20 March 2019, and aims to bring forward our future energy model by transforming Onslow into Australia's most advanced microgrid.

We have partnered with Western Australian company, Mechanical Project Services to deliver and install up to 2 MW solar PV and up to 1 MW hour of small scale battery storage.  This is being offered to Onslow residence and businesses through generous subsidies to achieve the fast track take-up of solar and battery. To date, the response from the Onslow community has been very positive and the installation of solar PV and battery storage systems in underway.

This high and rapid uptake of renewables by the Onslow community is essential to enable Horizon Power to effectively pilot an intelligent control system known as a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS).  This system will allow us to manage the assets connected to our networks in a coordinated way.  

The Pilot is an example of how Horizon Power is using its technology and expertise to demonstrate how high levels of renewable solar energy can be successfully integrated into a power system.

Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS)

Horizon Power have executed a contract with US supplier PXiSE Energy Solutions, LLC to provide the software for a Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) for a platform to support Horizon Power's strategy and vision to support greater renewable and distributed energy resources in regional Western Australia in the future. Horizon Power will start to use the new technology throughout 2019 as part of its renewable energy project in the town of Onslow and will support Stage 2 of the Onslow project.

The DERMS will help address safety, reliability and operational challenges, resulting from increased DER on Horizon Power's network. The solution will provide Horizon Power the platform for increased renewable energy capacity whilst maintaining network stability and integrity.

It will be utilised to manage distributed energy resources including solar, wind, energy storage, combined heat and power, smart appliances, conventional generation as a coordinated system. 

Key dates



​September 2016

Onslow Power Project announcement

January 2017

Contract for construction of modular power station awarded to Downer EDI Engineering and Power Pty Ltd.​

​January 2017

New power station contract awarded

March 2017

Work begins on backbone power infrastructure.

April 2017

Ground clearing and relocation of fauna.

September 2017

Equipment including transmission lines arrive on site.

​June 2018

Solar farm contract awarded

July 2018

Power station commissioned.

​July 2018

Stage One complete


Construction to begin on renewable energy component including solar farm and battery storage.

​March 2019

Stage Two launch

March 2019

​Renewable Energy Pilot launches to Onslow customers.

May 2019

Construction of a centralised 1 megawatt solar farm and 1 megawatt-hour network battery complete.

September 2019

Completion of solar farm and battery reliability period.

September 2019

Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot​
​Horizon Power solar PV and battery installation at Zone Substation.​

December 2019

Onslow ​Renewable Energy Pilot ends.