Four WA farmers go off-grid – with the help of local utility Horizon Power

Four farmers in the bushfire-affected WA town of Esperance have elected to go off-grid, using a dedicated solar and storage system that is being provided by their network operator, Horizon Power.

Horizon decided to take the pioneering approach to remote energy supply after bushfires destroyed more than 320 power poles and hundreds of kilometres of power lines in the region last November.

While most of the affected poles and wires have been restored, Horizon managing director Frank Tudor said a more innovative approach made better sense for some of the more susceptible parts of the network.

“We identified that instead of rebuilding this part of the network …we could offer these customers a dedicated renewable energy power system which is not connected to the grid,” Tudor said.

The systems will be owned and operated by Horizon, and will cost the customers the same amount they paid when their power had been supplied by the grid.

“While the units won’t be connected to the network, customers will receive the same service standards as those who are – including being able to call and rely on Horizon Power to respond to any unplanned power interruptions,” Tudor said.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd