Positive response to solar capacity increase

Goldfields-Esperance retail and community manager Donna Gibson. Photo: Supplied.

Goldfields-Esperance retail and community manager Donna Gibson. Photo: Supplied.

Power Point with Horizon Power's Donna Gibson.

Esperance businesses and residents have been quick to respond to our 1 July increase in rooftop solar capacity, with over 60 applications from Esperance customers being progressed.

It is exciting to see such a positive response from the community, which reflects what we are seeing across all our regions.

To date, we have received more than 200 rooftop solar applications from customers across regional WA.

Most of the applications have been for 5 kilowatt residential solar systems and about 25 percent have been from Esperance businesses. I am often asked why we need to have a capacity limit on the amount of rooftop solar we can connect.

Solar capacity increases must be carefully managed and they vary from town to town. It is essential that we maintain a safe level of renewable energy connected to each of our 38 microgrids across regional WA, so that we don't compromise the reliability of power to all our customers.

A reliable power supply is critical to robust local economic development and our agricultural sector in particular relies heavily on power, as do our businesses. If you are considering installing rooftop solar, visit horizonpower.com.au and use the online eligibility calculator to check the hosting capacity availability. As of writing this, there is still capacity available in Esperance.

Of the 2,200 kilowatts of capacity released, approximately 500 kilowatts have been applied for to date.

You can also use the website to see whether you are eligible to benefit from our Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme. In Esperance, it is currently 10.29 cents per kilowatt hour and it is only available to residential customers (A2 tariff) and not-for-profit organisations (D2 and C2 tariffs). Once you know you want to install solar, you are free to select an installer of your choice.

An accredited installer will discuss your electricity usage patterns and the technical requirements and can recommend a system. A list of accredited solar installers in WA is available at www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/. Your installer can also complete the online application to connect solar to Horizon Power's network on your behalf.

Once your application is submitted, we will send you an acknowledgement letter. Due to the high volume of applications we have received, there is currently a delay in approvals being processed.

It may take a few weeks for you to receive a letter advising of the outcome. The processing time varies, depending on the size of system you are applying for.