In the Great Southern region, near Ravensthorpe, we have been coordinating a 12-month trial of an innovative energy solution for families and businesses at the edge of the grid.
Six households were supplied with a Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) that completely met their electricity needs. It was comprised of solar panels, a battery, an inverter (to convert DC to AC) and a diesel generator.
“Ravensthorpe is situated at the edge of the grid, which means long stretches of powerlines have the potential to be impacted by wind, rain, vegetation and lightning. Power reliability is a real issue for the community,” said CEO Guy Chalkley.
The customers participating in the trial, observed an improvement in power reliability as well as the environmental benefit.
Our modelling has shown we could use SPS to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 50 years instead of replacing traditional poles and wires.
“Western Power’s trial in the Great Southern is evidence of a large utility exploring innovative solutions to improve the energy experience for our customers,” said Mr Chalkley.
We have identified more than 3,000 families and businesses who could benefit from stand-alone power systems. These types of non-traditional energy solutions have the potential to deliver new jobs and skills in regional locations, to support industries of the future.
The current regulatory framework prevents us from rolling out these systems to more customers. We are working with State and Federal regulators to ensure consumers can continue to take advantage of innovative technologies in the future.
“We want to provide the service that’s in the best interest of our customers. As a utility it means supplying people with electricity in a way that’s safe, reliable and efficient,” said Mr Chalkley.
View the results from the first 12 months of our SPS trialStand-alone Power System Pilot - One Year On