Solar capacity increase response overwhelming: Horizon Power

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

Recent rooftop solar hosting capacity increases have received an overwhelmingly positive response from Esperance customers, according to WA energy utility Horizon Power.

On June 19, Horizon Power announced the rooftop hosting capacity would increase from July 1.

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The company confirmed that, just over a fortnight after the changes were implemented, more than 60 rooftop solar applications had been received by Esperance customers, the most applications of any regional town to date.

Goldfields Esperance retail and community manager Donna Gibson said the response indicated that the Esperance community were eager to implement more sustainable options.

"Our customers are telling us they want more sustainable, affordable energy options and this is just one of the ways we are responding to this demand," she said.

"The majority of the applications we have received since increasing Esperance's rooftop solar capacity on 1 July have been from customers wanting to install 5 kilowatt rooftop solar systems.

"As of 15 July 2019, we have received 62 rooftop solar applications from Esperance customers.

"To date, this is the highest number of applications we have received from any regional town."

As part of the increase, the company has also streamlined application process, including improved online information and an eligibility calculator.

A Horizon Power spokesperson said although applications for smaller systems of up to 5 kilowatts are being reviewed and responded promptly, larger systems required further detailed technical checks and the company were working with customers and installers to progress these.

"Our team processing the applications has been incredibly efficient, having already done a first review of over 70 per cent of all applications received," Ms Gibson said.

"Forty-nine of the applications submitted in Esperance have been for smaller, 5 kilowatt systems, and these are being turned around quite quickly.

"Since 1 July, we have received a record number of rooftop solar applications from across WA and have additional resources to manage this considerable increase.

"However, in some instances, there will be a delay in our usual turnaround period and we are keeping our customers updated accordingly."

The company's technical requirements have been reviewed and updated to reflect the new National Connection Guidelines, releasing the updated requirements with the increases on July 1.

Technical requirement changes include allowing for more solar to be connected to the grid in the short term, while also planning to accommodate ongoing growth in demand, specific requirements for feed-in-management, Renewable Energy Smoothing, and updated inverter settings.

To view the updates document, or for more information, visit www.horizonpower.com.au