Marble Bar, in the heart of the east Pilbara, is now home to a world-first power station that combines renewable and traditional sources of generation. Horizon Power’s state-of-the-art Pippunyah Solar Diesel Power Station incorporates a single axis tracking solar farm with diesel technology and a flywheel energy storage system.
At the official opening for, Mines and Petroleum Minister Moore said the combination of technology is the first of its kind in the world and ensures a very high level of solar energy penetration and a reliable supply of power to the town.
The 1,350 panels, an award-winning design of SunPower, move on their axis to follow the path of the sun and produce a generating capacity of 1,048 MWh of solar energy per year, providing 65 per cent of day time energy demand from solar power, and up to 89 per cent of the load in mid-summer.
The Pippunyah Solar Diesel Power Station was among a number of renewable energy projects under development by Horizon Power - including solar-diesel stations in the remote Aboriginal towns of Kalumburu and Yungngora (Noonkanbah). The same solar-diesel hybrid generation model is being used to develop and build a power station at Nullagine, 88km south of Marble Bar. The Nullagine station, powered by 900 single axis tracking solar panels, is expected to start supplying the town in October.