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Project overview

We’re working to overcome the technical barriers of increased renewable energy on our network so more of our customers can install rooftop solar and reduce their energy costs.

We were tasked with implementing technology that would allow our Onslow power system to support a high penetration of customer and utility Distributed Energy Resources (DER) assets. The system aimed to deliver up to 50% of Onslow’s energy requirements through renewable energy. 

In November 2019, we completed commissioning of Onslow’s high renewable energy power system. The system contains a mix of distributed renewables, modular gas-powered generation and battery storage, with:  

  • 1,341 kW of residential solar PV (261 systems)  
  • 640 kW of commercial and industrial solar PV (8 systems)  
  • 190 kWh of residential energy storage (19 systems)  
  • 361 kWh of commercial and industrial smoothing storage (8 systems)  
  • 1 MW of utility solar farm  
  • 500 kWh of utility power station BESS  
  • 1 MWh of utility network BESS  
  • Centralised power station 

The system is managed through a Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS). This is an intelligent software-based system that allows us to communicate with, and manage, the flow of solar energy into our grids.   

Managing the flow of solar energy

Managing the flow of solar energy

Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) is an intelligent software-based system that allows us to communicate with, and manage, the flow of solar energy into our grids.  

The system is designed to manage and optimise way thousands of grid-connected distributed energy resources (DER) work, to help balance supply and demand, keep the electricity system stable and provide long-term economic value. 

A world-first achievement

In a world first, this project has proved that it's possible to run an energy network on 100% hydrocarbon-free energy without any traditional backup generation.  
 
In a successful trial in May 2021, our Onslow microgrid was run entirely on clean, green solar and battery power for 80 minutes. 

A world-first achievement
Our partners

Our partners

We partnered with PXiSE Energy Solutions to deliver the DERMS technology that allows our Onslow power system to operate as an advanced microgrid.  

A key component of the technology used was the Secure Gateway Device (SGD), delivered in partnership with SwitchDin. The SGD provides the grid edge communications and compute and control capability necessary to remotely control the behind-the-meter DER assets at customer properties via DERMS.  

We also partnered with our customers to make sure everyone involved could benefit - and make the most of the capability provided by behind-the-meter assets such as customer solar PV and our Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).  

Our strong relationship with our customers was critical to the success of the project, and our customers are now enjoying the benefits, including potentially lower energy costs.  

What's happening now?

DERMS has the ability to send commands to customer batteries and for them to react accordingly. We’re now exploring this further to try and optimise the performance of customer batteries by issuing instructions for them to charge and discharge at the most appropriate times of day.  
 
Community battery testing is under way and we’ll keep our community up-to-date with our findings.

What's happening now?

What does this mean for the community?

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There’s no shortage of sunshine in Onslow.

We’re glad we took the advice of our grandson, Ash, who said we should look into this offer. We wanted to help the environment, and we’re also looking forward to the long-term ongoing savings on our power bills.

Long-term Onslow residents who installed a solar and battery storage system in May 2019

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Horizon Power acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased people.