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Eight remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley region have installed more than 100kW of solar panels on community buildings under the Western Australian Government’s Solar Incentive Scheme.

The west Kimberley community of Djarindjin has installed 80kW of solar panels and the community of Lombadina has installed 30kW in a partnership with Horizon Power.

Minister for Energy and Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Wyatt, announced that Horizon Power will also contribute up to 30 per cent towards the cost of solar installations in another six remote communities in the Kimberley region under the scheme.

“This is a great scheme that gives Aboriginal Corporations the opportunity to invest in solar and reduce their bills for electricity to community buildings such as roadhouses, offices, men’s sheds and other community facilities,” My Wyatt said.

“That means the Aboriginal Corporations will have more money available to spend on other services for their residents.

“It is welcome news that the community of Warmun, in the east Kimberley, is the first to sign up to Horizon Power’s Solar Incentives Scheme, and I congratulate Djarindjin and Lombadina for partnering with Horizon Power in the pilot project.”

The initiative will result in communities saving tens of thousands of dollars a year off their electricity bills. Not only that, it reduces the costs of supplying diesel-powered electricity in the communities and that means a reduced subsidy for regional electricity supplies and reduced carbon emissions.

Under the scheme, funding is capped for each community and is open to the Aboriginal Corporations which are Horizon Power customers, including Bidyadanga, Beagle Bay, Ardyaloon, Warmun, Looma and Kalumburu.  

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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