Horizon Power’s Smart Connect Solar expands to NWIS

Aerial shot of regional home with solar panels on the roof (smart connect solar)
Image: Horizon Power

Horizon Power’s Smart Connect Solar technology has been expanded to the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) and 20 other unconstrained towns in regional Western Australia.

The state-of-the-art technology will increase access to renewable energy to the towns and is as part of a state-wide program which was launched by Horizon Power in Carnarvon last month.

Related article: Solar access for WA’s regions with Smart Connect Solar

The Smart Connect Solar project is removing hosting capacity constraints which limits solar installations across regional towns, enabling thousands of additional customers to install rooftop solar, realise energy bill savings, and improving the safety and stability of the state’s electricity network.

The technology has been launched in the NWIS towns of Karratha, Port Hedland, South Hedland, Point Samson, Cossack and Roebourne, in the Pilbara.

It has also been rolled out in 20 towns in the Kimberley, Mid West and Gascoyne and Esperance and Goldfields regions. This includes Derby, Wyndham, Halls Creek, Lombadina, Kalumburu, Warmun, Coral Bay, Cue, Meekatharra, Wiluna, Yalgoo, Hopetoun, Laverton, Leonora, Norseman, Camballin, Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Bidyadanga and Nullagine.

Karratha was the only town among the 26 which had exhausted its hosting capacity limits, however, Smart Connect Solar removes the requirement to apply future restrictions and enables towns to continue to realise their future solar potential.

Karratha has had active hosting capacity limitations from late 2023. Smart Connect Solar will enable homes and businesses in Karratha to apply and connect solar without existing restrictions.

“By 2025, Horizon Power, WA’s regional energy provider, will have deployed Smart Connect Solar to all towns in its service area, which is a significant milestone in increasing access to solar energy to residents across Western Australia,” Horizon Power CEO Stephanie Unwin said.

The staged rollout will also support regional solar installation businesses, with demand for solar expected to increase once hosting limits are removed.

“Not only does Smart Connect Solar use cutting-edge technology, it will also be a key contributor to the State Government’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Unwin said.

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“Furthermore, it equips Horizon Power with the necessary technical capabilities to fulfil our commitment to ensuring ‘zero customer refusals when connecting rooftop solar by 2025’ across our networks.”

Harnessing the power of predictive analytics, Smart Connect Solar analyses weather patterns, and accurately forecasts energy generation and demand. This enables real-time orchestration of a customer’s solar generation, effectively mitigating the risk of voltage and frequency fluctuations that could destabilise the electricity system and cause supply disruptions.

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