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Stand-alone power system installed for Nowanup

The stand-alone power system in place at Nowanup

Western Power has installed its first stand-alone power system (SPS) for a community group at Greening Australia’s 750-hectare Nowanup property in Western Australia. Having this renewable energy solution in place will significantly aid conservation efforts and support cultural tourism at the property.

Since Nowanup is located at the end of a spur line, it has been subject to power outages due to stormy weather and bushfires. The SPS features solar panels, a battery for energy storage and a generator for backup, which will significantly improve power reliability by replacing the ageing overhead assets.

It will provide secure power for our Nowanup, which is regularly used by local Indigenous communities and the Nowanup Rangers as part of Gondwana Link, a biodiversity project that spans 1,000 kilometres across Western Australia’s South-West.

It will also enable the local community and Curtin University to expand the use of the property as a bush campus, allowing Noongar learning and teachings in a bush setting.

Greening Australia Program Specialist, Barry Heydenrych has been working for years in the area.

“Power failures have been frequent, and particularly given our line of work, bushfires are a constant concern. A big bushfire would damage all the good work we’ve been doing,” said Barry.

“The stand-alone power system will reduce bushfire risk, as the poles and wires in the area won’t need to be used. Another big appeal for us is that we will be creating our power mainly from the sun, which is something that resonates with everyone.”

“One of the things we asked Western Power was whether it could be upgraded, and because it is a modular technology, it can. The unit will deal with our power requirements right now, and in the future if we need it, we can scale things up.”

Noongar Elder Eugene Eades inspects a flourishing Hakea that is part of the restoration plantings at Nowanup. The property is an important site for cultural learning led by local Indigenous communities.

The site is one of three properties owned by Greening Australia in the Gondwana Link; and is a key habitat restoration site, helping to reverse the decline of native wildlife and reconnecting patches of healthy bushland to help species move safely across the countryside.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston, who attended the commissioning of the SPS, said: “The McGowan Government is committed to an energy transformation that benefits all Western Australians, particularly our regional communities.

“Stand-alone power systems directly benefit our State by improving power reliability, facilitating greener energy and supporting community organisations and businesses.

“This collaboration with Greening Australia highlights how alternative energy solutions, such as stand-alone power systems, can make a real difference to regional conservation and cultural tourism.”

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