Esperance farmers chose solar panel installation after fire
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:9 March 2016
Last year’s bushfires led to farms permanently disconnecting from the grid. Some farmers opted for solar panel installation.
Esperance, Western Australia.
Farmers didn't plan on solar panel installation. Well, at least not immediately, until bushfires hit the region. The blaze caused extensive damage which included power poles leading to their properties. This kept a number of homes and businesses from connecting to the grid.
Solar panel installation turned out good
The permanent disconnection seemed to be an expected, albeit unfortunate, news after the fire. But apparently, going solar turned out to be a viable option for the farmers. It was “more than they had ever hoped for.”
Esperance farmer Rodney Locke expressed hope that the renewable energy source would be an improvement on his previous power supply. Fires destroyed 320 power poles that led to a massive power outage. His Cape Le Grande property was one of the hundreds affected.
Instead of reconnecting to the grid, Mr. Locke opted to try the renewable energy system. The solar panel installation offered by Horizon Power did not disappoint. The new system is a real upgrade as outages caused by maintenance on the network or weather-related events will not affect it.
Limited standalone power system (SPS)
The solar company offered the standalone power system (SPS) to customers. But they only serviced those in areas of the network that had previously supplied only 1-2 customers. Horizon Power’s Craig Julian said that the SPS included solar panel installation, batteries, and back-up diesel generators.
Australia may not escape from devastating bushfires. Its hot and dry climate, particularly during warmer months will always make it vulnerable. However, it’s comforting to know that homes and business can thrive even after fires keep them off the grid.
With glowing feedback from affected farmers, we'll surely see solar energy get more attention in WA.