The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $4.5 million support for a 1 MW, $11.6 million hybrid renewable energy project on Lord Howe Island.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht congratulated the Lord Howe Island community, and said the project was set to transform the energy generation of one of Australia’s iconic, heritage-listed destinations.
“The Lord Howe Island Board is leading this exciting project, which will demonstrate a renewable solution for small off-grid communities,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“It will involve installing 1 MW of renewable energy generation with storage, allowing high penetration of renewable energy and demand management flexibility.
“This combination of technologies will see the island using up to 70 per cent less diesel on average, completely offsetting diesel at times of high renewable generation.
“Lord Howe Island is 600 km off the east coast of Australia and, like other remote off-grid communities across the country, is heavily reliant on diesel generators that are costly to run and subject to volatile fuel prices.”
Lord Howe Island Board CEO Penny Holloway said the community has been working towards a renewable energy alternative for more than a decade and is thrilled at the support from ARENA for the project.
“This means that the long-awaited sustainable energy program for Lord Howe Island can now become a reality,” Ms Holloway said.
NSW Environment and Heritage Minister Rob Stokes added his support to the project, saying it was another fantastic example of NSW being at the forefront of finding efficient and effective energy solutions that also deliver positive benefits for the environment.
“The NSW Government sees a very clear and certain future for the roll out of collaborative renewable energy projects such as this,” Mr Stokes said.
“I congratulate both ARENA and the Lord Howe Island Board for their vision and commitment to utilising the natural resources they have in abundance, to provide their community with reliable clean energy.
“Lord Howe Island was included on the World Heritage List because of its unique natural and heritage values and this initiative is a powerful way of protecting these into the future,” he said.
Mr Frischknecht said the project would help set out a pathway for off-grid communities and businesses to take control of their energy generation.
“The project is designed to demonstrate the cost and reliability of deploying a high penetration renewable hybrid system in a remote location,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“It will also serve to make other deployments in similar locations less expensive through knowledge sharing and better business models for planning and construction.
“It is another significant project to come out of ARENA’s Regional Australia’s Renewables Initiative, which is focused on increasing the uptake of renewables in offgrid Australia.”
About the Lord Howe Island Board
The Lord Howe Island Board (LHIB) is established under the NSW Lord Howe Island Act 1953 and has care, control and management of the Lord Howe Island Group. Under the Act, the LHIB has a broad range of responsibilities and provides the majority of services and infrastructure on the Island. These include the airport, the wharf, waste management services, roads, tourism infrastructure, public buildings, wastewater oversight and the regulation, generation and supply of electricity.
The Lord Howe Island Group is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List In recognition of its outstanding biodiversity, uniqueness and international importance.