Busselton business helping power remote northwest towns

WA Alternative Energy have sent a team of four up to Bidyadanga in WA's northwest to install solar panels on community buildings.

WA Alternative Energy have sent a team of four up to Bidyadanga in WA's northwest to install solar panels on community buildings.

A Busselton-based renewable energy company have taken their skills and services to the northwest to help power a remote Aboriginal community.

A four-man team from WA Alternative Energy are currently in Bidyadanga, 190 kilometres south of Broome in the Kimberley, installing solar panels on the town's amenities.

Leading the project is WA Alternative Energy owner Simon Barclay who spent months preparing for the 18-day journey, and logistical challenges.

On site, the team will install 521 panels on the community centre, administration building, general store and workshop producing 160 kilowatts for the community.

Co-owner Sarah Barclay it was the biggest installation of customer owned rooftop photovoltaic systems in a remote community in the Kimberley.

"It is the biggest of its kind in WA to date," she said.

The opportunity for WAAE came about through the state government's $11.6 million investment to fund the installation of solar farms and energy storage in remote Aboriginal communities.

The remote communities centralised solar program is being delivered by Horizon Power, and includes the installation of solar farms across six communities in the Kimberley.

The project will reduce the cost of providing power to these towns which are 100 per cent diesel fuelled and will reduce the Government's subsidy paid to Horizon Power.

The program is being rolled out alongside Horizon Power's solar incentive project.

It encourages eligible remote communities to invest in their own roof-top solar on community buildings, with Horizon Power contributing 30 per cent of the cost.

Aboriginal affairs minister Ben Wyatt said the solar incentives scheme allowed Aboriginal communities to reduce their power bills for community buildings such as roadhouses, offices and men's shed.

Mr Wyatt said it would also improve the energy reliability during periods when it could be hard to access diesel fuel.

Ms Barclay said the solar panels would help the community become energy independent.

"It is really good to be involved with the project and it took a lot of work to send the team up to a remote community," she said.

"They had to organise all their supplies and first aid gear before they made the trip up, there was a lot of preparation before they left.

"The team will be up there for 18 days, it is about two hours from Broome.

"We have done projects like this before and there are more in the pipeline."