Murdoch at forefront of solar energy future for remote WA homes

May 17, 2018

Solar power: The future of renewable energy looks bright as Murdoch University partners with electricity provider Horizon Power.

The future of renewable energy looks bright for homes in remote WA in light of Murdoch University’s partnership with electricity provider Horizon Power.

The Federal Government-funded research will collect and analyse data from trials performed on electricity systems in homes and businesses in Carnarvon.

The research aims to improve the integration of renewable energy and battery systems into existing electrical networks.

It also examines the benefits of storing solar power, along with the use of solar forecasting to predict the impact of cloud movement on solar power generation.

Professor Parisa Bahri from Murdoch’s School of Engineering and Information Technology said the University welcomed the opportunity to apply its research expertise to develop sustainable renewable energy solutions for consumers across Western Australia.

This is significant research which will eventually see more renewable energy systems rolled out across regional WA.

Project leader Dr Martina Calais said the research addresses the major transformation in the industry where conventional fossil fuel-based generation is being replaced with renewable energy and storage systems.

“We are excited to support Horizon Power in embracing technical, operational and regulatory challenges,” she said.

“These trials demonstrate that Horizon Power is taking an exemplary and innovative approach to enable more renewable energy based generation on their networks while broadening energy supply options for consumers.”

School of Engineering and Information Technology Dean, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski said Murdoch University had the oldest and most recognisable program in renewable and sustainable energy in Australia.

“Each year, Murdoch attracts a significant number of domestic and international students from around the world, especially to its undergraduate degree in Renewable Energy Engineering and postgraduate Master of Renewable and Sustainable Energy,” Professor Dlugogorski said.

“Our graduates in Renewable Energy Engineering are highly sought-after by industry and Murdoch ranks as the best Engineering School in Australia in terms of student satisfaction.”

Rooftop solar panels, known as photovoltaics (PV), harness the sun’s energy to generate electricity, reducing the need for fossil fuels – a costly and limited global resource.

The rising cost of energy bills has driven many electricity consumers to embrace solar power – a cheaper alternative with less environmental impact.

On behalf of the Federal Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated $1.9 million to Horizon Power to trial a variety of distributed energy systems in Carnarvon.

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