Jun 25, 2020Clean Energy Future

The Australian Town Forging a Clean Energy Future with Renewables and Natural Gas

A pilot program in the Western Australian town of Onslow is proving that natural gas and renewable energy sources like solar power are perfect partners to provide secure and cleaner energy.

The Onslow Renewable Energy Pilot was completed last week, with installation of solar panels on Chevron’s Wheatstone residential houses.

Prior to that, solar panels and battery storage systems were integrated in what’s called a microgrid. Stage two of the project included the build of a solar farm and network battery which means that the town will receive about half of its energy needs from renewable energy and the other half from natural gas.

With Onslow peaking at 13.2 hours of daylight per day in December alone, there is no shortage of solar power able to provide a source of energy, with natural gas picking up the remainder. This is a model that advanced economies and big cities can begin to adapt to cut emissions.

Stage one of the project, completed in July of 2018, saw the completion of a gas-fired power station and related infrastructure.

Natural gas company, Chevron, which operates its Wheatstone project nearby, has made a substantial financial contribution to partner with the WA State Government for this project. Chevron has committed to investing $250 million in Onslow for critical infrastructure projects including a hospital, airport and recreational facilities. This essentially means the company is supplying natural gas to WA as well as renewable energy.