Remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia’s Kimberley are going solar.

Between them they have installed more than 100 kilowatts of solar panels on community buildings, supported by the WA government.

Djarindjin, in the West Kimberley, has installed 80 kilowatts of solar panels and the community of Lombadina has installed 30kW in partnership with the state-owned Horizon Power.

WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said the power utility would also contribute up to 30 per cent towards the cost of solar installations in another six remote communities in the Kimberley under a Solar Incentives Scheme.

The initiative is predicted to save communities tens of thousands of dollars a year off their electricity bills.

“This is a great scheme that gives Aboriginal corporations the opportunity to invest in solar and reduce their bills for electricity to community buildings such as roadhouses, offices, men’s sheds and other community facilities,” Mr Wyatt said.

“That means the Aboriginal corporations will have more money available to spend on other services for their residents.”

“It is welcome news that the community of Warmun, in the East Kimberley, is the first to sign up to Horizon Power’s Solar Incentives Scheme and I congratulate Djarindjin and Lombadina for partnering with Horizon Power in the pilot project.”

By Wendy Caccetta