In August 2023, Simon Duggan, General Manager of Boundary Power, presented to a diverse audience of over 50 representatives from nationwide power utilities and installers. This event, hosted by the Australian Energy Regulator in collaboration with Energy Networks Australia, was part of an ongoing series dedicated to Standalone Power Systems (SPS). The specific focus of this forum was on the installation process and the impact these systems have on consumers.

Boundary Power has extensive expertise in identifying and addressing energy supply challenges faced by remote and regional consumers. Our utility-grade, renewable, and reliable power solutions have been deployed since 2019. The forum served as an ideal platform for Boundary Power to share our wealth of knowledge garnered over the past four years.

Simon kicked off his presentation by showcasing Boundary Power’s footprint in Western Australia, with 70 units already deployed, the majority situated in the Esperance region. He also outlined the company’s growth plans for the next 12 months, with more than 150 additional units currently planned. These new units will serve a wide array of applications, including remote farming, electric fencing, regional businesses, and telecommunications.

The key insight shared by Simon on consumer impact is Boundary Power’s dual accountability – to both the power utility and the end customer. While the power utility assumes overall responsibility for the installation process, in some utility scenarios, Boundary Power’s involvement commences during the early stages, focusing on design solutions and site selection. Collaboration with property owners is paramount, enabling an accurate assessment of energy consumption and the identification of suitable sites. Furthermore, engaging with the end customer ensures that installation and cutover occur at an optimal time, minimizing any disruptions.

Simon then went on to illustrate the tangible benefits delivered by SPS solutions to our two different types of consumers. For power utilities, the main advantage is realised through reduced operational and maintenance costs. Traditional poles and wires systems in remote areas are susceptible to damage from weather events, wildlife, and farming operations, incurring costly repairs and time-consuming maintenance. Deployment of SPS eliminates these vulnerabilities offering robust remote monitoring capabilities for efficient unit management.

However, the benefits to the end consumer extend far beyond the operational. Historically, power outages were an accepted reality for many agricultural customers, who often relied on diesel generators as backup. The increased reliability of SPS translates into significantly fewer outages for end consumers, minimising disruptions to business operations and ultimately enhancing the overall quality of home life. Additionally, agribusiness customers have welcomed safety improvements for both themselves and their employees, removing the risk of machinery and power pole collisions, particularly during night time operations. Forward-thinking consumers also appreciate the positive environmental impact, as SPS solutions contribute to a reduced carbon footprint.

Reflecting on the opportunity to share Boundary Power’s expertise, Simon expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It was great to speak at this forum and to connect with key stakeholders in the energy sector. We look forward to further knowledge exchange with our counterparts in the Eastern States as power utilities Australia-wide seek robust and reliable alternative solutions to power generation and supply.”