The pilot project is estimated to cost $7.1m and expected to last for three years. ARENA, on behalf of the Australian government will be providing $1.9m in funding for Horizon Power to begin the project’s trial. The trial will include a range of behind-the-meter distributed energy systems in Carnarvon.

As part of the trial, Horizon will install a array of distributed energy technologies across 90 homes and businesses in Carnarvon.

The company will test various technologies that include internet of things (IoT) energy metering, rooftop solar, household battery storage and inverters with remote monitoring and control devices and weather forecast devices.

Western Australia Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said: “The State Government is committed to supporting the development and refinement of technological solutions that advance a renewable future and we are delighted that ARENA have chosen to invest in such important trials that will ultimately see more renewable energy installed in regional Western Australia.”

To reduce the cost of distributed energy systems by up to 25%, the pilot project aims to address technical and commercial barriers faced by ‘prosumers’. 

The project will assess the commercial viability of supplying high penetration distributed renewable energy to regional off-grid towns.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht stated that the pilot project is the first in a series of trials to be undertaken by Horizon.

He said: “These trials of distributed energy systems will explore the most cost-effective way of designing and managing a future grid.

“If we can resolve the technical and cost barriers of distributed energy systems and get metering, monitoring, solar and storage to work as a whole, we can make better use of these assets, reduce costs and empower prosumers.”

Image: ARENA to start trial on distributed energy system in Western Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Serge Bertasius/