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Pursuing innovative solar opportunities for the Goldfields

The State Government will invest $500,000 to develop a proposal for a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trial in the Goldfields and make land available for future large-scale renewable energy development in the region.

A VPP is a distributed rooftop solar and battery system that collects energy, which can be dispatched in a similar way to a centralised power station.

A preliminary assessment into large-scale solar projects in the Goldfields identified the best path forward to bring renewable energy, innovative technology, and network support to the region.

The assessment involved extensive consultation with local industry, energy groups, mining companies, solar developers and relevant government agencies.

The proposal will consider the installation of a VPP on Kalgoorlie-Boulder properties, which may include public housing, giving the potential for reducing electricity bills for residents. The VPP would provide more energy to the region as well as improving reliability, which is fundamental to enabling the economic development and growth of the region.

Making land available for the development of large-scale renewable projects is also being planned to coincide with the implementation of network regulation changes in 2022.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will work in collaboration with relevant agencies, particularly the Public Utilities Office, Western Power, and Lands agencies.