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New solar partnership under WA’s net-zero transition

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WA’s North Metropolitan TAFE and Horizon Power are working together to provide comprehensive training for energy workers in the operation and maintenance of Standalone Power Systems.

In a strategic partnership, WA’s North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) and Horizon Power are collaborating to provide comprehensive training for energy workers in the operation and maintenance of Standalone Power Systems (SPS), as part of the Cook Government’s transition towards a cleaner energy future.

The training program introduced by NM TAFE and Horizon Power covers basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of Standalone Power System operations. The primary objective is to equip workers with the essential skills and knowledge required for the installation and maintenance of SPS infrastructure, facilitating the integration of these systems into various regions.

Horizon Power has contributed to the collaboration by donating a 3kW SPS unit to the East Perth TAFE campus. This unit is part of Horizon Power’s initiative to install similar systems across Western Australia, addressing specific needs such as those faced by farmers and responding to challenges like the 2015 Esperance bushfires.

Standalone Power Systems typically consist of solar panels, battery storage, and backup diesel generation, offering a safer, greener, and more reliable power supply. The training initiative is complemented by the state government’s investment of $25 million in modern equipment for WA TAFE colleges, demonstrating a commitment to upgrading TAFE facilities over a four-year period.

NM TAFE and Horizon Power have formalised their collaboration through a memorandum of understanding, focusing not only on SPS training but also on the development of operations and maintenance training packages for various emerging technologies. These include SPS units, hydrogen, community battery storage, and Battery Energy Storage Systems, collectively preparing the workforce for a diverse range of advancements in the energy sector.

Comments from WA’s Training Minister Simone McGurk welcomed the opportunity presented by the new National Skills Agreement to develop advanced skills supporting the state’s transition to net-zero emissions.

“The new National Skills Agreement presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver the advanced skills base needed by industry right across the State to support the transition to net zero,” McGurk said.

“Our TAFE and university sectors will be vital to training workers for jobs to deliver the clean energy transition. Many of the people working in power generation will have transferable skills needed for the transition to a bigger mix of renewable energy in the economy.”

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