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Stand-alone power systems - Trial

A new era in regional power supplies  

In 2016, six families located in the State’s Great Southern region signed up to receive their energy in a new way, harnessing technology not previously used on our network. 

The SPS trial involved installing units at six farms in the towns of Ravensthorpe, West River, Lake King and Ongerup. The initial 12-month trial used stand-alone power systems that combined solar panels, battery and a back-up generator.

The trial measured the reliability of power supply, our customers’ experience using the new technology , the amount of solar generation and impact on the grid.

The results have been overwhelmingly positive with the customers continuing to receive their energy through SPS. 

Results of the trial

The 2016 SPS Trial demonstrated that SPS can provide a reliable and safe supply of power to eligible regional customers in WA.

In the first three years, trial participants:

  • avoided a total of more than 200 hours of power outages
  • experienced dramatic drops in the number of outages, with them avoiding an average 71 hours of outages a year
  • had more than 90 per cent of their power generated from the solar panels, delivering a greener energy option
  • provided feedback to show their customer satisfaction with their power supply increased from 6/10 pre-trial to more than 9/10 with SPS in place

During local floods in February 2017, the stand-alone power systems continued to supply uninterrupted power, while other areas experienced outages due to damage on the network. 

"There have been two or three outages on the line that we’ve heard about or didn’t know about because - we didn’t have any." Tom Capper

“It’s more reliable. We haven’t had to worry about getting the generator going.” Ros, West River.

What’s next?

We have identified thousands of sites across our network where customers like those in the trial could benefit from SPS.

We will be installing a further 57 systems to assess the scalability of SPS in different geographical locations across our network.