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. But 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 these powerlines 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. They’re called stand-alone power systems, or SPS for short.
We’ve been successfully trialling new technology with six farming properties in the Great Southern, which could one day replace the need for power lines in regional and remote areas.
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.
One of the farming properties that took part in the trial is owned by Ros and Berney Giles, pictured here.
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 match the power use of the property to ensure it is fit for purpose.
With the size and scale of our network, the innovative stand-alone power system technology is ideal for WA. In fact, there may be no other place in the world as well suited to it.
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.
Based on the success of the SPS trial in the Great Southern, we have launched a project to rollout ore of these systems (SPS Round 1) focusing on a much larger deployment to other regional areas in WA. 52 properties will be going off the grid in an effort to demonstrate SPS deployment on-scale.
Watch the video to learn more about the trial and how it has improved power reliability for rural customers.