A new centralised solar farm and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is now in operation at Cue in Western Australia.

Cue is the fourth regional Western Australian town to receive a centralised solar farm as part of Horizon Power’s Major Project’s Midwest Solar Program, following the successful completion of projects in Wiluna, Yalgoo and Sandstone.

Horizon Power is installing centralised solar photovoltaics (PV) in six towns – five in the MidWest region and in Norseman in the Goldfields, increasing renewable energy penetration in these towns.

Cue’s new 259kW solar facility and 336kWh BESS unit, connected to the 11kV network, is now operational following the successful completion of reliability testing.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Pacific Energy and is supporting Horizon Power’s delivery of green energy solutions as it works towards a net zero carbon future.

The solar farm and BESS project is providing a sustainable and efficient alternative for the towns that are currently relying on diesel generators for their energy needs.

The excess electricity generated by the solar panels during the day can be stored in batteries for use during the night or on cloudy days, ensuring a consistent power supply even when the sun isn’t shining.

By generating and storing their own electricity, the towns will be able to significantly reduce their reliance on diesel generators – cutting down on fuel costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental impact associated with diesel combustion. The existing diesel system can then serve as a back-up.

The overall program is expected to reduce 2,100t of CO2 emissions per annum, saving an estimated $900,000 per annum, while improving fuel security and dampening the impact of fuel price fluctuation.

The program, supported with $13.5 million in Commonwealth funding, will support the state’s decarbonisation efforts.

Similar solar and battery solutions are being delivered as part of the program, with Meekatharra and Norseman expected to be delivered in early 2024.

Featured image: The BESS at Cue, Western Australia. Courtesy of Horizon Power.

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