Western Australia says it is leading the country in the deployment of standalone power systems, after announcing $37 million in new funding to support the deployment of more than 180 additional off-grid power systems across the state.
On Tuesday, the WA state government said the extra $37 million would support the rollout of the additional off-grid power systems, which will include a combination of solar power and battery storage.
Western Power will oversee the deployment, which will help replace more than 750 kilometres of overhead power lines while improving both power reliability and reducing bushfire risk.
The systems can also help displace the costly use of diesel for electricity generation.
WA energy minister Bill Johnston said the WA government maintained its commitment to supporting the deployment of more than 1,000 standalone power projects over the next four years.
Johnston announced the new round of funding following the release of the state government budget, which he says will support local industries.
“These new contracts will create 90 jobs, including more than 15 apprentice positions, for Western Australians and support local businesses through the manufacture, installation and commissioning of the units,” Johnston said.
“Western Power’s traditional network of poles, wires and substations spread is now transitioning to standalone power system technology as a modern generation mix that better meets the needs of customers.”
Two companies will share in the funding for the projects, Boundary Power and Hybrid Systems Australia.
Boundary Power is an offshoot of another WA-owned utility, Horizon Power, in partnership with equipment maker Ampcontrol. The standalone power systems developed by Boundary Power have already been trialled across the state and are able to be deployed in as little as 90 minutes.
Boundary Power director, Rod Henderson, welcomed the latest funding and its opportunity to be part of a broader rollout of its standalone power systems.
“This project demonstrates our strength to work with clients such as Western Power, to provide optimal solutions for their needs,” Henderson said.
“Our team has the expertise to design and engineer from our suite of products. It’s their ability to adapt and re-engineer our designs that set our products apart.”
Last year, the WA government unveiled a proposal for shifting entire townships in remote and regional parts of the state onto off-grid power systems – achieving significant savings through the avoided cost of building and maintaining long-stretches of poles and wires.