Safer and more reliable power supplies are now being delivered to the West Kimberley community of Yungngora, following the commissioning of a new power station.
Horizon Power is also in the final stages of building a power station in the East Kimberley community of Kalumburu. The Western Australian-owned power company was funded to build the stations and upgrade the existing distribution networks in communities under the Aboriginal and Remote Power Supply Project phase two. Funding was provided by the State Government’s Public Utilities Office.
Aboriginal and Remote Community Power Supply Project (ARCPSP) project manager Ben Macdougall said the 1MW generator installed at Yungngora was specifically selected based on its fuel efficiency and reliability, as well as its ability to withstand tough, remote conditions.
The successful commissioning of the Yungngora Power Station follows the upgrade of the distribution of the community’s electrical network in 2011. At this time, Yungngora residents became Horizon Power customers and are paying the same price for electricity as other Western Australians, while being able to apply for rebates and subsidies. Residents can now also can gain access to household power via pre-payment meters, giving them greater visibility and control of electricity consumption and costs.
Because of growth in remote WA communities and poor reliability standards, the state government acknowledged new power stations were needed to meet the energy demands moving forwards.
Construction of the Kalumburu Power Station is nearing completion and is expected to be finished by the end of 2014, depending on weather conditions. Once the Kalumburu Power Station is complete, the Aboriginal and Remote Communities Power Supply Project will come to an end.
Horizon Power has acknowledged the project has been challenging given the community’s remote location in the far north-west of Western Australia and high levels of rainfall in the wet season.