The remote Kimberley community of Kalumburu will transition to renewable energy after Horizon Power constructed a solar farm with battery storage in the town. Kalumburu, population 400, is the northern-most permanent settlement in WA and has, until now, sourced power from diesel generators. Horizon Power last Tuesday announced it would install a 700kW solar farm and 1.78MWh battery which will meet more than 60 per cent of the community’s energy requirements. Diesel generators will still be required, but the new solar farm will enable the power station to run completely on renewable energy during the day. The Kalumburu project is the first step in Horizon Power’s remote communities centralised solar project, which will see five other Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley receive solar systems — Warmun, Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin and Bidyadanga. The program is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Kalumburu and Warmun by about 1290 tonnes per annum — equivalent to taking 270 cars off the road. Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Unwin said transitioning remote communities from fossil fuel generation to cleaner energy provided environmental and economic benefits. “There are also economic benefits to the communities, as a number of community members are being employed during the cultural surveying and construction phases,” she said. “We are extremely grateful to the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation for its support, and to the local residents for hosting the project team in their beautiful location while the work takes place.” Construction on the Kalumburu project was set to finish this month, with Warmun expected to be the next community in line for the upgrade.