If you’re living in remote areas on the fringes of Western Australia and considered living off the energy grid, it might pay to give it some thought.
Many energy utilities have long been working towards a time when solar panels and battery storage devices became a more affordable way of supplying power to remote customers than traditional poles and wires.
Horizon Power has found a solution; it has managed to install five solar systems on farms near Esperance in Great Southern at lower cost than replacing tradition electric wires and poles.
According to Frank Tudor, Horizon Power managing director, it’s about deploying batteries, solar panels with back-up diesel and using it in an ingenious combination so they get access to reliable electricity which is as good as what they the company could provide in an electric network solution.
The systems were installed as a trial after a devastating bushfire swept through the region 2 years ago. It destroyed close to 400 electric poles, four lives and destroying livestock.
The trial’s success is propelling the utility to roll out the systems in other remote areas of the state where it would have otherwise had to replace ageing poles and wires.