Solar program creating opportunities in Kimberley

Horizon Power

A Horizon Power project to install centralised solar farms in the Kimberley, Western Australia, has the potential to deliver long-lasting cost benefits through sustainable energy solutions, as well as local employment and business opportunities.

The centralised solar project to install solar farms and energy storage into six remote Aboriginal communities will be funded by an $11.6 million investment announced as part of the State budget.

Horizon Power CEO Stephanie Unwin said the project offers customers a safe, more reliable, cost-effective source of power.

“The project will significantly reduce the cost of providing power to these towns, which are currently fuelled 100 per cent by diesel.

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“It will also drive a significant reduction in CO2 emissions by more than 2000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking 425 cars off the road each year.”

As part of its commitment to the State Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy, Horizon Power is doing more to ensure its projects provide ongoing benefits to local business and residents.

“We are working with the Aboriginal Corporations to provide the information they need to ensure the project results in local jobs and business opportunities where possible,” Ms Unwin said.

Horizon Power intends to release a Request for Tender for the construction of the centralised solar farms and energy storage in the east Kimberley in late May 2019.

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Construction is scheduled for Warmun and Kalumburu in 2020 and in Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin, Lombadina and Bidyadanga in 2021.

The project is being rolled out alongside Horizon Power’s Solar Incentive Scheme which encourages eligible Aboriginal Corporations to invest in their own roof-top solar on community buildings, with Horizon Power contributing up to 30 per cent of the cost.