The Western Australian Government has announced a suite of innovative, clean energy projects for the Kimberley region that will create jobs in and improve the state’s renewable energy footprint.

Broome and Yungngora will benefit from the installation of their own Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) as part of a $12 million investment and will be installed early next year.

Each BESS project will enable more customers to install, connect and enjoy the long-term benefits and savings of rooftop solar and will create approximately 20 jobs during design, construction and installation phases.

Four new standalone power systems will be deployed to the Kimberley as part of the Western Australian Government’s overall $9.92 million investment into Standalone Power Systems across the North-West of the State.

Standalone Power Systems use solar and battery technology to generate and store electricity, and will allow more customers to benefit from safer, higher quality and more reliable power, 24 hours a day.

In addition, the Shire of Derby will benefit from a $5.2 million investment towards the installation of solar panel systems across its portfolio of public buildings.

All of Derby’s conventional street lights will be replaced by smart LED street lights which are more efficient, reducing operating costs and environmental impacts. The new, LED streetlights aim to reduce night-time crime and other traffic related issues, making Derby a safer place for the community and visitors.

Horizon Power will also work in partnership with Derby Health Services to co-design a large-scale solar panel and battery solution. This will significantly contribute to the reduction in Derby Health Services’ annual power costs and enable more of the state’s funds to be redirected into other essential services across the region.

Around $2.5 million of the project’s cost is expected to be spent in the region, creating local jobs, supplier and contractor opportunities. Horizon Power will invest $3.81 million to upgrade the electrical infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities across the Kimberley to improve power reliability and create jobs on country. The communities include Joy Springs, Loanbun, Karnparrmi, Gillarong, Emu Creek, Mud Springs, Bell Springs, Munthanmar and Koongie Park.

The State Government will invest a further $10 million towards the Clean Energy Future Fund, adding to the $9.3 million initially invested. Clean energy innovators can apply for funding of between $250,000 and $2 million for each clean energy project.

Premier Mark McGowan said the investment was part of the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan which will deliver a range of infrastructure projects that help to reduce energy costs, provide better efficiency and create a pipeline of work across the Kimberly region.

“A range of job, supplier and contractor opportunities will be created to support the production, installation, commissioning and ongoing maintenance of the new systems,” Mr McGowan said.

“These projects have been brought forward to support local jobs, businesses and our regional economies to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the government is committed to increasing its renewable energy footprint.

“The additional nine Battery Energy Storage Systems will integrate renewable energy, enabling more people living in regional WA to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar,” Mr Johnston said.

“The deployment of 50 additional SPS units across regional WA will deliver improved power reliability, quality and safety to some of our more remote, end-of-grid customers.”

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