ARENA to fund Horizon Power’s distributed energy systems trial

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has revealed its intention to fund a pilot project developed by Horizon Power to test distributed energy systems in Carnarvon, Western Australia.

For the project, ARENA has already allotted A$1.9m ($1.4m) on behalf of the Government of Australian.

During its three year period, the A$7.1m ($5.3m) pilot project will see the installation of various distributed energy technologies in 90 homes and businesses in Carnarvon.

It will also test a range of technologies including ‘internet of things’ energy metering, rooftop solar, household battery storage and inverters with remote monitoring and control devices, as well as weather forecast devices.

Representing the first of a series of trials planned by Horizon Power, the project further seeks to overcome the technical and commercial barriers faced by ‘prosumers’ as well as to reduce the cost of distributed energy systems by up to 25%.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “These trials of distributed energy systems will explore the most cost-effective way of designing and managing a future grid.

“If we can resolve the technical and cost barriers of distributed energy systems and get metering, monitoring, solar and storage to work as a whole, we can make better use of these assets, reduce costs and empower prosumers.”

ARENA has also noted that the decreasing cost of solar photovoltaic panels, along with the increasing cost of energy bills, has led many electricity consumers to adopt on-site generation and battery storage solutions in Australia.