Households in the Western Australia beach resort town of Broome have snapped up nearly 1MW of rooftop solar hosting capacity released by the state’s regional network operator, exhausting the allocation in just hours.
Horizon Power said this week that an additional 900kW of residential rooftop PV hosting capacity it had released at 9am on Monday July 12 had been promptly exhausted, with more than 160 solar connection applications submitted online.
A statement on Tuesday from the WA Labor government confirmed the release had been met with “an overwhelmingly positive response,” noting that the 900kW allocation had been completely taken up by mid-morning.
“It was pleasing to see more than 160 Broome households snapping up the opportunity to connect rooftop solar to reduce their energy costs,” said state energy minister Bill Johnston.
“This is a step in the state government’s plan to invest in a low carbon future for WA and a working example of [its] commitment to deliver regional development and renewable energy growth.
“Government regional energy provider, Horizon Power, has been working hard to transform the electricity grids across regional WA to support increasing levels of renewable energy and provide customers with greater choice and control over their energy.”
The allocation comes as the McGowan government works to update its grid transition plan, known as the Whole of System Plan, to keep pace with the state’s remarkable rooftop solar growth, that is rapidly making it a dominant player in the local market.https://reneweconomy.com.au/wa-to-update-grid-transition-plan-as-rooftop-solar-heads-to-half-of-homes/
For, Horizon, which oversees the electricity supply to the vast expanse of regional WA, its goal is that all households on its grid should have access to rooftop solar by 2025, and it says it is working hard to fix any hosting capacity constraints.
In the case of Broome, Horizon says the microgrid that powers the town in the Kimberley region needs to be carefully managed to ensure an increase in rooftop solar doesn’t impact the stability and reliability of power supply to the community.
“That’s why we’ve set a limit on how much rooftop solar our electricity network can accommodate in each town,” the utility says on its website.
For Broome, another 250kW of hosting capacity will be made available to residential customers, alongside 1150kW for business customers, in December 2021, the state government has confirmed.
It said the release this week was weighted towards households to prioritise the reduction in consumer energy bills.
“This additional hosting capacity is made available as Horizon Power develops technical solutions to support increasing levels of renewable energy and develops customer products that provide communities with greater control over their energy costs,” the statement said.
“Horizon Power, has been working hard to transform the electricity grids across regional WA to support increasing levels of renewable energy and provide customers with greater choice and control over their energy,” minister Johnston added.