Leave The Grid…Save Yourself! – ConspiracyOz

Off-grid trial gives WA farming community cheaper, more reliable power

Photo: Drone pic of a stand alone power system installed at Giles property near Ravensthorpe. (Supplied: Ros Giles)

Going off-grid could be the way forward for communities on the fringes of WA’s power network after a trial of solar units exceeded the expectations of those involved.

Fed up with frequent outages and voltage spikes, six farming households in Ravensthorpe, 500 kilometres south of Perth, chose to take a leap of faith and try living off the sun and lithium batteries.

“It has been just fantastic, it’s far exceeded our expectations, and it’s very good, clean power,” Ravensthorpe resident Ros Giles said.

“Friends are often out [without power] for up to 24 hours and thinking, ‘we might come visit because you’ve got power and we haven’t’,” she said.

WA’s energy utility Western Power offered the systems for free in the search for alternatives to the massive cost of replacing ageing poles and wires.

The utility builds and maintains transmission lines in remote areas, but landowners wear the cost of the lines on their properties.

Photo: The inside of a solar battery storage system. (Supplied: Western Power)

The Giles family spent tens of thousands of dollars connecting their farm in the 1980s.

When the region experienced major flooding in January, receiving 310 millimetres of rain in four days, the solar units kept the lights on while many grid-connected customers lost power for days.

“It’s good, clean, reliable power and that’s the big advantage,” Bernie Giles said.

“Cleaner meaning frequency and voltage consistencies … and that means less damage to things … like electric fence units with voltage spikes and fluctuations.

“We haven’t come across anything we can’t do that we could before as far as welding and using large amounts of power or starting electric motors, not a problem.”

Taxpayer savings

The trial’s success has wide-ranging implications for the future of power generation in the country, bringing with it huge savings for taxpayers.

Ravensthorpe is a microcosm for the nation’s power problems, one of thousands of tiny communities at the edge of the electricity grid.

Photo: Ros and Bernie Giles are trialling a standalone power system on their property. (ABC News: Tara Delandgrafft)

For example, WA’s South West network spans more than 250,000 square kilometres — an area the size of the United Kingdom — yet it only services one 50th of the population.

Getting power to those communities is costly, unreliable and unsustainable, prompting utilities to look for alternatives.

“There’s the potential for 3,000 sites that have similar types of reliability on those edge of grid type communities that we could put that similar technology in,” Western Power CEO Guy Chalkley said.

Everyone within the grid pays the same energy tariff, meaning people in Perth subsidise the cost of supplying power to the bush.

It is a problem Western Power believes the Ravensthorpe trial has solved, potentially allowing it to save hundreds of millions of dollars.

“You’d be talking about a saving of about $300 million in terms of current cost of investment and cost of ongoing maintenance of distribution line against the cost of the stand-alone power system,” Mr Chalkley said.

Regulations ‘need to catch up’

But the utility has hit a roadblock.

Legislation written before the technology existed only allows Western Power to distribute energy through poles and wires and not generate it — which is how regulators view capturing solar rays for battery storage.

Photo: Western Power has provided the standalone power systems for free under the trial. (Supplied: Western Power)

This has meant the utility has had to extend the trial for a further three years to allow the households to keep their systems.

Consultants are warning the government against dragging its feet.

“I think the regulations need to catch up, the fact technology has moved on and that the opportunity to provide a better outcome for consumers is being facilitated by that technology,” energy consultant David Martin said.

“If it makes sense to put in a stand-alone power system, put it in, but let’s not waste time rebuilding networks we don’t need.”

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said while he was supportive of Western Power’s efforts, he needed to consider if it was appropriate for the utility to enter the power generation market.

The utility would require both legislative and regulatory changes to roll out the systems more broadly.

It seems the families of Ravensthorpe could be waiting a while longer before they officially cut their ties to the grid.

More Links to this Article – Mick Raven

Kilowatt hour – Wikipedia

The fall and fall of rooftop solar prices: four years of data | RenewEconomy

Thinking about going off-grid? Keep these points in mind – Solar Choice

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost? | See Up To Date Prices

Off grid solar systems

Meet the man who was off the grid as Sydney’s eastern suburbs went dark – ABC News

Mass power outages across Sydney restored after affecting 45,000 customers – ABC News

What caused the blackouts in Melbourne, and do Victorians need to get used to power cuts? – ABC News

Rural Victoria’s power networks set to buckle under weight of wind energy – ABC News

Caravan Solar Panels, Parts & Accessories for Sale | Outdoria.com.au

Off Grid Solar System|Solar Power System|Off Grid Solar|Stand Alone Solar|Off Grid Solar Batteries

Load Design Sheet | Request a Quote | For Off-Grid Solar Systems

Your Step by Step Guide to Solar Power – Solar Power Australia

Off-Grid Solar Power | Stand Alone Solar Systems | Living off-grid

Do you really want to go off the grid with your solar power system? – Solar Quotes Blog

How Much Does Off Grid Solar Cost?

 

Posted on February 24, 2019, in ConspiracyOz Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. More Links to this Article – Mick Raven
    Kilowatt hour – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilowatt_hour

    The fall and fall of rooftop solar prices: four years of data | RenewEconomy
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/fall-fall-rooftop-solar-prices-four-years-data-31491/

    Thinking about going off-grid? Keep these points in mind – Solar Choice
    https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/considerations-for-going-off-grid-solar-storage

    How Much Do Solar Panels Cost? | See Up To Date Prices
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/panels/cost/

    Off grid solar systems
    https://solarcalculator.com.au/off-grid-solar/

    Meet the man who was off the grid as Sydney’s eastern suburbs went dark – ABC News
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-01/tesla-powerwall-keeps-sydney-home-running-during-blackout/10767924

    Mass power outages across Sydney restored after affecting 45,000 customers – ABC News
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-31/power-outages-across-sydney-affecting-thousands/10766530

    What caused the blackouts in Melbourne, and do Victorians need to get used to power cuts? – ABC News
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-26/victorian-blackouts-what-caused-them-and-is-this-the-new-normal/10751412

    Rural Victoria’s power networks set to buckle under weight of wind energy – ABC News
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-17/rural-victoria-power-networks-to-buckle-under-wind-energy/10808534

    Caravan Solar Panels, Parts & Accessories for Sale | Outdoria.com.au
    https://www.outdoria.com.au/s/caravan-solar-panels-parts-accessories

    Off Grid Solar System|Solar Power System|Off Grid Solar|Stand Alone Solar|Off Grid Solar Batteries
    https://www.aussiebatteries.com.au/off-grid-solar-system/remote-power-system-packages

    Load Design Sheet | Request a Quote | For Off-Grid Solar Systems
    https://www.rpc.com.au/solar-systems/off-grid-solar-power/quick-quote.html?system=93

    Your Step by Step Guide to Solar Power – Solar Power Australia
    https://www.solarpoweraustralia.com.au/grid-feed-solar-power-for-your-home

    Off-Grid Solar Power | Stand Alone Solar Systems | Living off-grid
    https://www.rpc.com.au/solar-systems/off-grid-solar-power.html

    Do you really want to go off the grid with your solar power system? – Solar Quotes Blog
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/do-you-really-want-to-go-off-the-grid-with-your-solar-power-system/

    How Much Does Off Grid Solar Cost?
    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/how-much-does-off-grid-solar-cost/

    Like

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