Horizon Power’s Smart Sun pilot program has officially concluded with participating residents across Broome benefiting from a reduction of up to 70 per cent on their annual electricity bills.

The program is an industry-first for regional Australia, involving a virtual power plant and smart household energy packages for 15 households in DevelopmentWA’s Waranyjarri Estate.

These packages include coordinated rooftop solar panels, a battery and inverter and smart appliances (air-conditioning, pool filtration and hot water systems), which allowed customers to track their energy usage through the business’ mobile app.

While still connected to the existing network, each household used solar power to satisfy the majority of their energy needs, demonstrating the network’s ability to cope with increased solar energy in regional Western Australia.

The pilot has also shown it can lower the costs of installing renewable infrastructure, by up to 30 per cent, for new developments that look to improve liveability costs in the regions.

Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “Historically, regional microgrids have only been able to support a limited amount of solar, but the Smart Sun pilot has demonstrated that this challenge can be overcome with great savings for households. 

“The McGowan Labor Government is committed to giving Western Australians greater control of their energy use to help reduce power bills, and reduce the impact on the environment.”

Kimberley MLA, Divina D’Anna, said, “The Smart Sun pilot has successfully demonstrated that it’s possible to reduce the costs associated with new regional developments and keep the community standard of living high. 

“The McGowan Government is working hard to create vibrant, sustainable and liveable regional communities, which make the most of innovative renewable solutions.”

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