Horizon Power has signed a software contract for a Distributed Energy Resources Management System (DERMS) to improve the efficiency and management of its electricity systems servicing Western Australia.

According to Horizon Power Acting Chief Officer, Mike Houlahan, the contract with PXiSE Energy Solutions, LLC, the DERMS platform will initially be trialed in the Onslow microgrid and supports the organisation’s strategy and vision to become a leader in advanced microgrids.

“DERMS will provide the platform for our systems to be able to support greater renewable and distributed energy resources in the future, thereby providing a cleaner and sustainable energy solution for our customers and for Western Australia,” Mr Houlahan said.

DERMS is a software solution that will monitor and manage thousands of grid connected assets, ranging from power stations to solar panels, using artificial intelligence to balance and orchestrate the energy generation and storage mix in a coordinated system.

The solution will provide high visibility for Horizon Power to access real-time insights and optimise the system.

Horizon Power General Manager of Advanced Microgrid Developments, Terry Mohn, said this was the first time this type of highly advanced technology would be integrated into an electricity network in Australia, and it could help to create a safer, more stable and more efficient network in the future.

“As the amount of renewable energy connected to electricity networks continues to increase, utilities worldwide are facing new operational challenges,” Mr Mohn said.

“By investing in intelligent systems that can automatically manage assets, detect and mitigate power fluctuations, Horizon Power is working hard to address these challenges in a way that secures power quality and reliability for all.”

The PXiSE Energy Solutions DERMS software provides a mature product that can be configured to meet the diverse requirements of Horizon Power’s microgrids.

This technology solution is expected to provide Horizon Power with the platform from which it can increase access to renewable energy in the future, by managing all distributed energy resource assets connected to the utility’s networks in a coordinated way, without adversely impacting power quality and reliability.

Horizon Power will start to use the new technology throughout 2019 as part of its renewable energy pilot project in the town of Onslow.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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