Norseman solar project sees towns switch from diesel to part solar in battery rollout – Michmutters

Norseman solar project sees towns switch from diesel to part solar in battery rollout

With already high petroleum prices expected to rise even further this year, solar projects that will shift dependency away from diesel are underway in several West Australian regional towns.

Energy provider Horizon Power has announced it would build a centralized solar farm and battery in Norseman, about 720km east of Perth.

The 758 kilowatt solar farm would consist of 1,400 panels and would house a 336 kilowatt-hour battery energy storage system.

On completion, the project would see just over 24 per cent of the town’s energy sourced from renewable energy.

Currently, the township relies entirely on a diesel-generated power station for its electricity.

Dundas Shire President Laurene Bonza said a development application had been lodged with the council.

“It looks like solar and renewables are going to be the way of the future and we get a little bit of a jump on that,” she said.

“Hopefully, it will mean our power is reliable and we are doing our bit.”

If approved, construction was expected to get underground early next year.

A woman in a white tshirt leans on a statue of a horse
Laurene Bonza says a development application has been lodged.(ABC News: Rosemary Murphy)

The diesel power plant would then be used to ensure supply.

Demand for energy was expected to increase with a gold mill currently under construction in the area.

“The mine has already extended the old power station and added in a couple more diesel generators to make sure we so don’t end up in the dark,” Ms Bonza said.

“Este [solar farm and battery] should make sure we never end up in the dark.”

There was an extra incentive to switch to renewables when the federal government’s temporary cut to the fuel excise tax was removed at the end of September.

regional roll-out

The Norseman solar project was part of a broader roll out in which Horizon Power planned to install centralized solar and battery storages systems in the mid-west towns of Cue, Sandstone, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Wiluna and Yalgoo.


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