The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced $5.5 million worth of support for Hydro Tasmania to develop an innovative off-grid hybrid project.

The project will be constructed on Flinders Island (TAS) ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project would use a combination of solar, wind, diesel, storage and enabling technologies, together with a sophisticated control system, to displace more than 60 per cent of the island’s diesel generated energy.

“The Flinders Island project will build on the success of a similar project Hydro Tasmania developed on King Island with ARENA support, which is delivering 100 per cent renewable energy to the island when conditions allow,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“One of the exciting aspects of the Flinders Island project is the development of a portable hybrid energy solution with the potential to further drive down costs and move a step closer to delivering a commercially competitive product.

“Hydro Tasmania will trial a series of modular units suitable to house and transport components for off-grid hybrid renewable energy projects.

“This low-cost, scalable approach has the potential to be a real game changer in remote areas – reducing the amount of construction and engineering work needed to be carried out on site would significantly reduce costs, risks and construction time.”

Mr Frischknecht said Hydro Tasmania’s hybrid project demonstrates how a flexible and integrated approach can provide improved penetration of renewable energy.

“Technologies like storage and dynamic resistors smooth out the power generated from solar and wind, while the automated control systems ensure generation and enabling equipment are coordinated and perform when required,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Australia is a large country with many off-grid communities and industries facing similar energy supply challenges, whether they are on islands or in remote locations on the mainland.

“ARENA is committed to working with Hydro Tasmania to share the learning and expertise from the King Island and Flinders Island projects.

“This knowledge sharing will ensure we are best placed to advance competitive, reliable renewable energy options for off-grid Australia and help reduce its reliance on trucked and shipped in diesel.”

The $12.9 million Flinders Island project is scheduled for completion in November 2016.


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