Broome Residents Question their Lack of Solar Power
The lack of access to solar powered energy has been a long fought battle for the Western Australian residents. Even though the Kimberly town of Broome is considered one of the sunniest locations in Australia, only a mere 10% of the town’s power is backed by solar energy.
The state-owned energy utility, Horizon Power, is responsible for the electric grid that Broome falls within. According to them, the reason that residents and small business owners don’t have the demanded access to solar powered energy is because of the fluctuations between high to low light. Horizon Powers spokesperson Frank Tudor, however, states that the company is testing a battery storage alternative technology that they hope to bring to Broome within the next few years. The battery technology would help solve the supply issue and allow residents to use solar energy to power their homes. These tests are currently taking place in Carnavon and Onslow and are looking promising.
Horizon Powers sees regions and towns being able to generate over 50% of their energy by the sun as the ultimate goal. Some residents, however, refuse to wait any longer and have decided to disconnect themselves from the grid and use solar power as their sole energy source. These residents are facing the supply issue Horizon Powers cited earlier, but they say the benefits are worth the small obstacles. Residents say that their current situation with the utility company has become financially draining and they hope to move forward with alternatives quickly. They argue that they are being prevented from saving money and conserving resources, and believe that enough is enough. Horizon Powers explains that they are taking the matter extremely seriously and are doing the best they can to move forward efficiently and financially responsible with their shareholders in mind.
Cameron White, an especially angered resident of Broome has a lot to say on the issue. “We’re in the sunniest place in Australia, probably, but we can’t use it. Businesses in town are struggling at the moment, including myself, and you know these power bills [are] enough to tip people over the edge.” Mr. White was one of the residents who decided to go his own way when it comes to powering his home and business.
Bamford, Matthew. “Residents of Sunny Broome Blocked from Going Solar.” ABC News. N.p., 02 June 2017. Web. 04 June 2017.