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Energy, Government WA

Horizon Power’s renewable energy project ‘a boon for the Kimberley’

Environs Kimberley 2 mins read

The Kimberley’s peak environmental organisation, Environs Kimberley, has welcomed the release of  Horizon Power’s new Kimberley Future Energy System (FES) Project, and Request for Tenders (RFT).

As set out in the Horizon Power RFT documents, the project specifies supplying electricity to the Kimberley towns of Broome, Derby, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing, and the Looma-Camballin community, for at least the next 20 years, from 2027.

Most importantly, the project is based on, and paves the way for, a strong renewable energy component, called the ‘Renewable Energy Guarantee.’  For Broome and Derby, the biggest markets, this guarantee is for at least 80% renewable energy, probably mostly solar (with storage).

Environs Kimberley’s Director of Strategy, Martin Pritchard, said that Horizon Power’s West Kimberley power project would be a boon for Kimberley communities.

“This is a breakthrough for the Kimberley region.

“After years of watching LNG being trucked up to Broome from the Pilbara and burnt in the local gas-fired power station to supply the bulk of Broome’s electricity and seeing diesel generators relied on in the other towns, we are at last seeing the transition away from dirty, expensive fossil fuels to clean, lower-cost renewable energy.

“The Broome Clean Energy Report, commissioned by Environs Kimberley and produced by Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) in 2023, estimated that over 80% of Broome’s electricity generation could be achieved with renewable energy at three quarters of the price of gas-fired (LNG) generation. It is very rewarding to see those findings picked up in this Project.

“In a region with as much sun as the Kimberley has, it is a no-brainer to switch to a largely renewable grid.

“We also welcome the requirement in the RFT documents that participants ‘exclude electricity supply solutions that utilise fossil fuel generation as the primary source of electricity generation.’

“Of course, there may continue to be a need for a small supply of gas or diesel as back-up, at least for the time being, but to go from where we are now to 80% renewables in Broome and Derby is fantastic.

“Environs Kimberley will be watching this process closely to ensure there is no slippage in meeting the renewables guarantee or allowing fossil fuel companies to game the system.”

For further comment, please contact:
Martin Pritchard
Director of Strategy, Environs Kimberley
Mob. 0427 548 075

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