Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Former Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Pursuing innovative solar opportunities for the Goldfields

    31/05/2018 9:00 AM
    • Proposal for the first Virtual Power Plant in the Goldfields to be developed
    • Planning for land access for future large scale-solar developments
    • Government continues to progress its election commitment to investigate the potential for a major solar project in the Goldfields 

    The McGowan Government will invest $500,000 to develop a proposal for a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trial in the Goldfields and make land available for future large-scale renewable energy development in the region.


    A VPP is a distributed rooftop solar and battery system that collects energy, which can be dispatched in a similar way to a centralised power station.


    A preliminary assessment into large-scale solar projects in the Goldfields identified the best path forward to bring renewable energy, innovative technology, and network support to the region.


    The assessment involved extensive consultation with local industry, energy groups, mining companies, solar developers and relevant government agencies.


    The proposal will consider the installation of a VPP on Kalgoorlie-Boulder properties, which may include public housing, giving the potential for reducing electricity bills for residents. The VPP would provide more energy to the region as well as improving reliability, which is fundamental to enabling the economic development and growth of the region.


    Making land available for the development of large-scale renewable projects is also being planned to coincide with the implementation of network regulation changes in 2022.


    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will work in collaboration with relevant agencies, particularly the Public Utilities Office, Western Power, and Lands agencies.


    For more information, visit http://www.drd.wa.gov.au


    Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


    "We now have a comprehensive analysis of the complexities of a large-scale solar project in the region, and mapped out some innovative and interesting ways forward.


    "A VPP has the potential to achieve multiple positive outcomes, including increasing the amount of energy available in the Goldfields, trialling innovative power technologies, supporting grid stability and management strategies, and helping WA move forward on emissions reduction. We look forward to working with industry and other stakeholders on building the best model for the region.


    "Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the wider region is a big economic contributor to the State. Future renewable energy solutions will be a priority to securing regional growth and servicing the needs of this growing regional population."


    Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:


    "Despite the Goldfields being an obvious location for a major solar project with year-round high solar energy levels, input to the electricity grid in the region needs to be carefully managed.


    "The trial of a Virtual Power Plant in the Goldfields is an exciting prospect that has the potential to assist Western Power and the market operator to assess how innovative technologies can help manage some network challenges in the region."


    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200

    Energy Minister's office - 6552 5900