From grid to solar: Power on demand

New orange building powered by solar

Wedgefield, Western Australia: Pilbara Meta Maya Regional Aboriginal Corporation (PMMRAC) is a privately-owned Western Australian Aboriginal organisation based near Port Hedland in the Pilbara. Since its inception, 21 years ago, PMMRAC has grown into a professional business which delivers value-added services in property management, support and tenant education, and environmental health. It also provides and maintains essential services, such as power, water and wastewater to 29 Aboriginal communities throughout the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Murchison regions—an immense area covering 600,000 square kilometres!

Leading by example and demonstrating its commitment to sustainable energy, PMMRAC took the bold decision in 2014 to ‘switch’ from grid to solar.  In September 2015 it completed the construction of an independent solar power station which now, fully operational, is generating and storing 100 per cent of PMMRAC’s power at a much reduced cost. 

PMMRAC recognised early the need to partner with like-minded companies to achieve its objectives. Its successful partnership with Energy Made Clean (EMC) is enabling the installation of a number of stand-alone utility grade power systems which will provide electricity for mining sites, remote stations, islands and communities. 

Rachael Green, the CEO of PMMRAC, stated: ‘EMC has engineered and integrated a stand-alone solar power system which means that we can produce all the solar energy we want while storing and using it as and when we need to.  The “power on demand” solution is a major step in PMMRAC achieving its most important objective of becoming a sustainable business while, at the same time, addressing the running costs of its operations and reducing its power bills by a significant amount.’ 

PMMRAC’s vision is to provide a more cost effective and sustainable source of energy than is currently available. And as more people receive training and become proficient in the installation, commissioning and maintenance of solar hybrid power systems, this is becoming a reality. At the same time trainees are benefitting from the engineering, project management and construction expertise that EMC can offer.

‘We can see many opportunities for EMC’s innovative power and water solutions throughout the Pilbara area,’ said Rachael Green. ‘Having a system operating at our facilities near Port Hedland only drives us harder to provide sustainable energy and water solutions to remote communities, stations and towns.’

John Davidson, Managing Director of EMC, said, ‘PMMRAC is one of those entities that has a vested interest in finding better ways to provide power and water services to remote communities in Western Australia. We are very proud to have been selected to deliver this market making project to them.’

Officially opened in September 2013, PMMRAC’s office premises in Wedgefield, near Port Hedland, are mainly self -funded and provide excellent facilities and amenities.  The corporation’s board of directors believes the new building will help to attract and retain quality staff.  The board is also intent on providing a culturally appropriate working environment, which will motivate staff and encourage high standards in all areas of the corporation’s service delivery.

The building is called ‘Karanymarra’ which means ‘new shiny house’.  It’s an apt name for a corporation that has a bright future improving services to the many Aboriginal communities.

For more information:  www.metamaya.com.au

 

Photos courtesy of Pilbara Meta Maya Regional Aboriginal Corporation (PMMRAC)

The corporation’s premises in Wedgefield near Port Hedland

The corporation’s premises in Wedgefield near Port Hedland

PMMRAC directors cutting a ribbon

Official opening of the new premises with PMMRAC directors (from left to right June Tullock, Natalie Parker, ‘Nyaparu’ Margaret Rose, Lindsay Lockyer and Linda Parker)

PMMRAC’s conference room

PMMRAC’s conference room

Solar panels

Solar panels

Lithium ion batteries

Lithium ion batteries

A typical power station

A typical power station

Water treatment facility

Water treatment facility