Integrating solar with storage for a stable energy ecosystem

To successfully incorporate solar PV, storage and other innovative technologies into Australia’s energy grids without sacrificing grid stability, a holistic, whole-of-network approach is required, says Mark Paterson, General Manager of Horizon Power’s Consumer Energy division.

According to Mr Paterson, Horizon Power’s large, sparsely populated regional WA networks are ‘almost a microcosm of the larger electricity grids’ demonstrating a number of key issues surrounding grid transformations – such as grid instability caused by intermittent renewable generation. As a result, the solutions deployed by Horizon Power throughout its networks may offer valuable lessons for other utilities around Australian and the world.

In his upcoming presentation ‘Re-inventing the Future of Electricity in Regional WA’, which will take place at the Australian Energy Storage Conference running June 14-15, Mr Paterson will draw on his international experience to explain the global energy revolution, and use Horizon Power’s networks as a case study to demonstrate a range of innovative energy storage related initiatives.

‘Energy storage is one of several important technologies that can play a key role in helping safely integrate more and more solar PV,’ Mr Paterson says. ‘We see the need for an integrated ecosystem – including solar PV, energy storage, demand response, high efficiency appliances and more.’

‘We need to take a whole-of-system approach to integrating our legacy electricity systems with new energy technologies, rather than just kind of bolting on quick-fixes all over the place,’ he says. ‘It’s all about taking a holistic view to this transformation. There is no one silver bullet.’

Mr Paterson believes that careful planning, building upon prior work and drawing on both Australian and overseas experience will be vital for the success of Australia’s transition to a low-carbon energy future.

‘As a nation of 30 million people, it’s critical for Australia to leverage the best practice work that has already been undertaken both here and internationally,’ he says. ‘In other words, we can’t afford to be duplicating work or constantly revisiting topics that have already been addressed.’

The Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition will run from 14-15 June at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. With the theme ‘Investing in Australia’s Energy Future’ the conference will feature more than 50 Australian and international speakers presenting on the possibilities of storage.

The free to attend exhibition will take place alongside the conference and will showcase 50+ leading exhibitors. Not only is the free exhibition the biggest display of battery solutions in Sydney, the exhibition will also provide non-battery energy storage technologies, along with the ever-popular EV and charging zone.

To purchase conference passes, register for the free exhibition, or for more information, visit

Read the full interview with Mark Paterson here.

Anne-Marie Mina