Rottnest Island will install 600 kilowatt solar PV in addition to its existing 600 kilowatt wind turbine. It is expected that these two power plants will significantly displace the use of expensive diesel fuel so that the island will obtain 45% of its 5 gigawatt hours in annual power consumption from renewable energy.
Hydro Tasmania has been commissioned to undertake the project on the basis of applying its learning in the integration of high amounts of renewable energy into Bass Straitâ€™sÂ King Island power system.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will provide up to $4.8 million in funding towards the project which is scheduled for completion by May 2017.
Rottnest Islandâ€™s power supply already incorporates what are known as low load diesel generators. These diesel generators were designed to able to adjust their output highly flexibly to adjust to changes in wind farm output to ensure stable power supply.
The island relies on desalination of sea water for its water supply which is highly energy intensive.Â This provides a large source of power demand that can be shifted in time without disruption to island residents while better aligning power demand with output from the solar and wind power plants.
According to ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht,Â â€œHydro Tasmania will also integrate its control systems with the Rottnest Island desalination plant and water storage facility, allowing the plant and pumps to be switched on when renewable generation outstrips demand on the island. This will allow more renewable energy to be used without the need to install batteriesâ€.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt stated praising ARENA funded project,Â â€œIâ€™m confident this will serve as another strong case study that could be replicated in other remote, island and off-grid locations that rely on emissions intensive diesel generation for power and fresh waterâ€.
Originally from The Australian