The constant stream of air-conditioning powered by a reliable stand-alone power system (SPS) unit will be a welcome addition to the Kent’s summer lifestyle.
The summer days in Bodallin, halfway between Merredin and Southern Cross, regularly tip over the 40-degree mark.
Which makes air-conditioning a lifestyle essential and is why the Bodallin wheat and sheep farmers have a large unit installed on their homestead.
Frequent power outages over the hot summer months was too often rendering their air-conditioner, and even ceiling fans, useless.
“The power would always go out when it was particularly hot, so on the days when you really needed the air-con you couldn’t use it,” says Lara.
“For a while, we were losing power every two weeks, and at least a few of those would last for at least 24 hours.
“It’s not nice sitting in the heat of the house, particularly when it’s been hot for a few days. And out here, when you lose power, you lose everything, including the internet and your mobile phone which is run through a satellite. Things really come to a stop.”
“We also shear in February,” says Lara, “and more than once we had to borrow a generator to keep shearing as the power had gone out.
“It just always seemed to happen at the most inconvenient times.”
The Kent’s were on the verge of buying a generator to power their house when Western Power asked if they would like to opt-in for a stand-alone power system.
Three SPS units are currently being installed, with one powering the main homestead and a nearby home, another for the workers quarters and main shed, and the third unit for the shearing shed.
“Buying a generator would have cost us around $10,000, so the timing for getting SPS was good as it saves us on that cost, as well as giving us more reliable power.
“We’re really hoping these units will be very beneficial for us and our lives out here.”