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Australian utility demoing high-penetration of renewables in solar, storage, and gas-powered microgrid

Credit: PXiSE Energy Solutions

Horizon Power, Western Australia’s regional and remote energy utility, announced a new demonstration project that it said enables the integration of much higher levels of renewable energy into an isolated microgrid in the remote town of Onslow.

With a goal of providing more sustainable and cleaner electricity to its customers, and decrease generation costs, Horizon Power’s Onslow project integrates the solar farm and battery storage system with a gas-fired power station, coordinated by the PXiSE Energy Solutions Microgrid Controller.

The microgrid controller takes data from the connected energy assets and optimizes renewable energy output and power quality, said PXiSE. Lower operating costs are expected, as solar power displaces diesel generation.

Onslow customers have also been incentivized to install solar and battery at their homes as part of the project, which tests the management of renewable energy in an isolated regional community.

Horizon Power Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the work under way in Onslow was a significant part of the State’s renewable energy transformation, building both Western Australian capability and more renewable-friendly systems for their regional communities.

“The microgrid management technology is an amazing piece of technology that is new to this State and allows for the careful management of the various energy sources in the town,” Unwin said.

 “We look forward to the next stages of the project where, ultimately, the full management system will offer Horizon Power a more granular and comprehensive level of insight into their network,” said Andrew Todd, Chief Executive Officer, GTSgroup, a PXiSE project partner.

“By controlling and coordinating energy storage and generation assets, Horizon Power will be empowered to directly engage its customers as participants in the transition to a more renewable grid and away from costly fuel imports,” added Patrick Lee, CEO of PXiSE.