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Only 10% of power allowed from solar in Broome WA to stop grid “fluctuations”

Posted By Jo Nova On October 26, 2017 @ 9:20 pm In Electricity,Global Warming,Renewable | Comments Disabled

When too much solar is more than enough

The WA government-run electricity provider (Horizon Energy) has called a halt to new solar installations in Broome, a town in Northwest WA that is not connected to the national grid, or even the main WA grid. (It’s 2,000km north of Perth). About 10% of the town’s power comes from solar* but apparently the little grid can’t handle the fluctuations, so the early birds got the subsidies, and the rest got grumpy.

June 3rd, ABC:

Broome residents tire of cap on solar power installations

  • Horizon Power only allows 10 per cent of the town’s power to come from solar due to issues with grid fluctuations
  • This leaves some residents unable to install a solar system that connects to the grid
  • Horizon is trialling battery storage technology in other WA towns and hopes to expand this to Broome

Residents in the Kimberley town of Broome have said they are fed up with being prevented from accessing solar power despite living in one of Western Australia’s sunniest towns.

State-owned energy utility Horizon Power allows just 10 per cent of the town’s power to be generated from solar to protect the grid from fluctuations during periods of high and low light.

Small business owner Cameron White has been trying to switch to solar for two years in a bid to reduce his power bill but said he has been blocked at every turn.

“We’re in the sunniest place in Australia, probably, but we can’t use it,” he said.

Tell me how this helps the poor or the environment…

How fair is it when a government can offer subsidies on a first-in first-served basis? Here the costs of the first subsides are so large and unsustainable, that electricity prices are forced up on the rest of the owners, but they can’t partake of the same scheme. The random benevolence of government.

Time to talk about the hidden costs of solar and wind power — battery storage.

UPDATE: Government subsidies for installing solar are around $3,600 for a 5KW system.  That doesn’t include feed in tarriffs (Energy Buyback schemes).

UPDATE: #2 TdeF in comments explains that while the Government mandates these subsidies, the money doesn’t come from tax dollars, but from payments forced on fossil fuel suppliers, which in turn pass the charge on in electricity bills.

Tdef  October 27, 2017 at 5:54 am

There is no government subsidy. That is a popular misconception. The ‘government’ pays nothing. The LGCs and STCs are Carbon Certificates which are theft from fossil fuel electricity retailers and so from all the other electricity users. This is the RET scheme. It is buried in everyone’s electricity bills. Even those who use solar. So is the pay in tariff for unwanted lunchtime solar. Plus it is marked up.

The greatest ripoff in the world. For this you do not get electricity. Just the right to buy electricity, 90% from power stations already built and coal we already own.

Government Subsidies? No such thing. Theft. $3billion a year goes overseas. As much again to reward private companies in Australia. For nothing. When you do get the ‘free’ renewables, you pay again. Will people stop talking about Government subsidies. Weatherill has not paid for one windmill.

*EDITS:  Was — About 10% of the town “put solar panels on their roof”. Looking at the Google satellite image, there are hardly any solar panels on houses (though more on the largest houses in Cable Beach). The wording in the ABC article mentions “10% of the town’s power”, but doesn’t specify, indeed, the only hint is in the caption to a photo of a house with panels, that it is a “limited number of homes”. Where is that solar coming from? The title of this post was also tweaked: “Only 10% of people power allowed to use from solar in Broome WA to stop grid “fluctuations””. Hunting for the solar power turns up a trial by the Government run Water Corp in August 2016 to power “Solar Diesel” pumps for water bores and an undated Solar PV Trial involving only six homes now, and six later. BTW Tom Harley lives in Broome and has a photo of the Gas Plant.

Horizon Energy has a page here where regional residents can find out if their house is eligible for a rebate.

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