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Onslow successfully powered by 100% renewable energy in trial

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Hon Bill Johnston MLA, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services, Media Release, 18 June 2021

  • Australian-first Onslow trial successfully powers microgrid with 100 per cent renewable energy  
  • An intelligent system was utilised to unlock the microgrid’s potential
  • Projected to reduce carbon emissions by 820 tonnes per year

Horizon Power has demonstrated the Onslow microgrid’s full capacity after successfully powering the Pilbara town for a total of 80 minutes.

Photo: Horizon Power

Electricity was powered by 700 kilowatts of customer generated solar and 600 kilowatts of utility solar, while supported by battery technology.

This successful trial comes after the Minister announced the Renewable Energy Project in Onslow in March 2019, to stimulate the uptake of solar panels and batteries.

An intelligent Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) was integral to the success of the trial, using predictive analytics to maximise the amount of renewable energy in the microgrid while maintaining network stability for all customers.

It is the first time DERMS has been deployed in a remote microgrid in Australia. Horizon Power, and partner PXiSE Energy Solutions, will continue further DERMS testing ahead of commissioning the project later this year.

With this hydrocarbon free functionality, the Onslow Power Project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by about 820 tonnes per year.

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

“The operation of the Onslow microgrid powered by 100 per cent renewables signifies a landmark step towards building a cleaner, brighter, renewable energy future for our State.

“This innovative project demonstrates how distributed energy resources can be safely integrated at the grid level, unlocking further benefits from Western Australia’s world-leading rooftop solar uptake.”

Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster:

“The Onslow Power Project is a working example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to regional development and renewable energy growth.

“The success of this trial paves the way for more affordable and reliable energy for households and businesses in Onslow, and is part of the Labor Government’s upgrade of the social and critical infrastructure in the town.”


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