Microgrid technology powers WA town with 100% renewables

The WA town of Onslow was powered for 80 minutes using microgrid technology
The WA coastal town of Onslow was powered for 80 minutes using microgrid technology

Microgrid technology delivered by Horizon Power, together with its partners PXiSE Energy Solutions and SwitchDin, successfully powered the coastal Western Australian town of Onslow with 100 per cent renewable energy—the first step in delivering on the ambition of making this part of normal operation.

In a complex and technically challenging endeavour, the hydrocarbon-free operation was achieved for 80 minutes utilising an DER System (DERMS), orchestrating both traditional energy sources with customer and utility solar and battery solutions.

DERMS uses predictive analytics to maximise the amount of renewable energy in the Onslow microgrid while maintaining network stability and integrity for all customers. This is the first time DERMS has been deployed for this purpose in Australia. Further testing will continue to maximise understanding of this operation before the functionality is commissioned later this year.

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Horizon Power CEO Stephanie Unwin said, “Renewable energy solutions are front of mind and we have very clear goals for our energy future. This technical functionality developed in Onslow continues to lead the industry to overcome the barriers to increased rooftop solar installation which has been shown to reduce energy costs for our regional customers.”

“This is a significant milestone for energy control technology and renewable energy, with broad applications for the world at large,” said PXiSE Energy Solutions CEO Patrick Lee.

“The DERMS and microgrid-facilitated hydrocarbon-free period in Onslow demonstrates the possibility for certain communities to run solely on solar plus battery storage.”

Aided by DERMS, Onslow Power Project is projected to deliver cleaner, greener energy to Onslow with fossil fuel savings of about 820 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Onslow is a coastal town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, 1,386km north of Perth. It has a population of 848 people and is located within the Shire of Ashburton local government area.