Renewable energy technologies to improve power to the Kimberley

boab, kimberleys
A boab tree in the Kimberleys

The McGowan Government, through Horizon Power, has announced it will invest $21 million in Kimberley infrastructure projects focused on renewable energy technologies to kick-start the state’s economy as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

The Kimberley region will receive a suite of innovative, clean energy projects that will create jobs and improve the state’s renewable energy footprint.

Broome and Yungngora will benefit from the installation of its own Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as part of a $12 million investment and will be installed early next year.

Each BESS project will enable more customers to install, connect and enjoy the long-term benefits and savings of rooftop solar and will create approximately 20 jobs during design, construction and installation phases.

Four new standalone power systems will be deployed to the Kimberley as part of the McGowan Government’s overall $9.92 million investment into Standalone Power Systems across the North-West of the state.

Standalone Power Systems use solar and battery technology to generate and store electricity, and will allow more customers to benefit from safer, higher quality and more reliable power, 24 hours a day.

In addition, the Shire of Derby will benefit from a $5.2 million investment towards the installation of solar panel systems across its portfolio of public buildings.

All of Derby’s conventional street lights will be replaced by smart LED street lights which are more efficient, reducing operating costs and environmental impacts.

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The new, LED streetlights aim to reduce nighttime crime and other traffic-related issues, making Derby a safer place for the community and visitors.

Horizon Power will also work in partnership with Derby Health Services to co-design a large-scale solar panel and battery solution.

This will significantly contribute to the reduction in Derby Health Services’ annual power costs and enable more of the State’s funds to be redirected into other essential services across the region.

Around $2.5 million of the project’s cost is expected to be spent in the region, creating local jobs, supplier and contractor opportunities.

Horizon Power will invest $3.81 million to upgrade the electrical infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities across the Kimberley to improve power reliability and create jobs on country.

The communities include Joy Springs, Loanbun, Karnparrmi, Gillarong, Emu Creek, Mud Springs, Bell Springs, Munthanmar and Koongie Park.

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The McGowan Government also announced today that Horizon Power will establish a Customer Experience Centre in Broome.

The Centre will create 10 new local jobs and provide Horizon Power with more opportunities to engage with its customers, and understand their energy needs and challenges.

Horizon Power will commence relocating its existing customer services, which has been operated by Computershare in Melbourne since 2009, to the new Broome Centre from November 2020.

The McGowan Government will invest a further $10 million towards the Clean Energy Future Fund, adding to the $9.3 million initially invested. Clean energy innovators can apply for funding of between $250,000 and $2 million for each clean energy project.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said, “The McGowan Government is committed to increasing its renewable energy footprint.

“The additional nine Battery Energy Storage Systems will integrate renewable energy, enabling more people living in regional WA to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar.

“The deployment of 50 additional SPS units across regional WA will deliver improved power reliability, quality and safety to some of our more remote, end-of-grid customers.”