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Powering Marble Bar and Nullagine with energy from the sun

The world-first solar diesel power stations built by Horizon Power in the east Pilbara are showing remarkable results a year after they began operating.

The atmosphere has been spared 950 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the solar power being generated in Marble Bar and Nullagine - two of Australia's hottest towns.

The advanced technology used at these stations has yielded high levels of solar penetration - which means the percentage of power generated at the power stations which came directly from the sun. The maximum solar penetration reached is 92 per cent.

The solar energy systems at these stations generate more than 1000 MWh (or 1 GWh) of renewable electricity per year, which is 30 per cent of the towns’ annual energy demand - bearing in mind solar doesn't work at night.

The towns are also receiving a more reliable supply of power since the commissioning of Marble Bar in May 2010 and Nullagine in October 2010.

In 2009-10 the average duration of power interruptions experienced by Marble Bar households was 38 minutes and in 2010/11, when the new power station was operational, it was eight minutes.

In Nullagine, the average duration of power interruptions in 2009/10 was 110 minutes and in 2010/11 there were no interruptions.

The state-of-the-art power stations incorporate single axis tracking solar farms with diesel technology and short-term energy storage systems. This combination of technology is the first of its kind in the world and ensures a very high level of solar energy penetration into the towns' networks and a reliable supply of power.

The power stations demonstrate Horizon Power's commitment to deliver the safest, cleanest and most reliable supply of power to residents in regional Western Australia.

The State Government has recently announced $15.5 million in funding for Horizon Power to construct the first stage of a solar-diesel power station at CSIRO's Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

Horizon Power's demonstrated ability in providing remote renewable hybrid power solutions was recognised by CSIRO when it selected Horizon Power to design, build, operate and maintain the MRO solar-diesel station which will provide power for a world-class scientific facility located in regional Western Australia.

Contact Reference: Wendy Pryer - Phone: 0409 796 999