Horizon Power has expanded its Smart Connect Solar program, with more than 2,400 additional homes in Exmouth, Sandstone, Denham, Gascoyne Junction and Mt Magnet now gaining access to rooftop solar. 

In an effort to support the Western Australian Government’s commitment to delivering clean energy solutions for regional Western Australia, Horizon Power is using distributed energy management system – DERMS – technology to increase access to renewable energy for regional towns, while improving the safety and stability of the state’s electricity network. 

Horizon Power’s DERMS utilises analytics to consider weather patterns, power system conditions and renewable energy resources. The technology’s advanced algorithms then use this data to coordinate and dynamically optimise the power system to maximise renewable energy and benefits for customers. 

This innovative approach ensures that the power system remains safe and secure and enables the removal of hosting capacity constraints in regional towns, which have previously limited the number of solar installations. 

Smart Connect Solar is providing thousands of additional residential and business customers the opportunity to install rooftop solar and realise energy bill savings. 

Part of a state-wide program, the regional energy provider will expand Smart Connect Solar to another eight regional towns over coming months.  

The utility said that by September 2024, the technology will have been delivered to all towns in Horizon Power’s service area. This includes towns in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West and the Esperance and Goldfields regions.  

Smart Connect Solar was launched in Carnarvon in February 2024. Since then, it has expanded to towns in the North West Interconnected System, including Karratha, Port Hedland, South Hedland, Point Samson, Cossack and Roebourne, and has been introduced to 20 towns in the Kimberley, Gascoyne and Mid West and Esperance and Goldfields regions. 

In May 2024, the technology was also introduced in Broome, providing more than 6,000 homes and businesses in the Kimberley town with the option to install rooftop solar.   

Horizon Power Chief Executive Officer, Stephanie Unwin, said regional businesses and residents were embracing the program and the chance to reap the benefits of renewable energy, and that more than 400 customers have already applied for Smart Connect Solar since the program was launched in 2024.  

“Horizon Power is committed to delivering clean energy solutions for all our customers. Smart Connect Solar will help regional residents and businesses reduce their energy costs, but it will also contribute to a more sustainable future for all of us,” Ms Unwin said. 

Increasing renewable energy access for regional Western Australians supports the State Government’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“Smart Connect Solar provides us with critical technical capabilities so we can deliver on our commitment of ensuring there are zero customer refusals when connecting rooftop solar by 2025, across our networks,” Ms Unwin said. 

Smart Connect Solar is scheduled to expand to Esperance and Menzies in Q3 2024. 

Featured image: The town of Exmouth in Western Australia. Image/Horizon Power 

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