We’d like to think everyone, regardless of where they live, should have access to a reliable electricity supply.
Some of the more remote areas in Western Australia rely on our traditional infrastructure to power their homes, only to find the long stretches of powerlines servicing these properties can easily be affected by environmental factors such as wind, rain, vegetation and lightning. Reliability therefore isn’t great and maintaining them is a costly exercise.
We’re tackling these issues head on by finding better ways to deliver this essential service, which supports our current infrastructure.
We’ve been successfully trialling new technology with six farming properties, which could one day replace the need for powerlines in regional and remote areas.
They’re called stand-alone power systems, or SPS for short.
As the name suggests, these off-grid power systems operate independently from the main electricity network.
Each SPS consists of a renewable energy supply such as solar panels, battery storage, an inverter and a backup generator, which supplies electricity to a single property.
The system is sized to matched the power use of the property to ensure it is fit for purpose.
The families who took part in the initial one-year trial will continue living off the grid for a further three years. The extension of this trial will allow us to continue monitoring the reliability of the off-grid power supply and our customer’s experience.
Based on this success, we have launched a second trial focusing on a much larger deployment to other regional areas in WA. Approximately 60 households will be going off the grid in an effort to demonstrate SPS deployment on-scale.
52% of our overhead distribution network serves only 3% of our customers. Considering this, we can already see that providing regional and remote customers with off grid power systems can make a positive impact on our network resources and deliver improved power reliability.
Learn more about the trial and how it’s benefiting rural customers: