King Island renewable energy integration project reaches milestone


Dr David Crean,
Chairman, Hydro
Hobart, Tasmania — (METERING.COM) — October 30, 2012 – The King Island renewable energy integration project has reached a milestone last week with the commissioning of an uninterruptible power supply system on the island.

Currently, power on the island is provided by a single power station running four diesel generators. The new diesel uninterruptible power supply will allow existing diesel generation to be completely shut off during high wind periods and allow for 100 percent renewable energy penetration.

King Island is an island about 1,000 km2 in size located in the Bass Strait, approximately half way between mainland Australia and the northwest Tasmanian mainland. The fewer than 2,000 residents are mainly involved in farming or gourmet food related activities, and tourism is growing.

The KIREIP, an initiative of Hydro Tasmania, is aimed to reduce dependency on diesel generation by providing reliable and stable electricity supply through the integration of renewable energy sources (solar, wind and biodiesel) with enabling and storage technologies.

“The unique part of this system is the integration of technologies,” said Dr David Crean, chairman of Hydro Tasmania. “Although the renewable generation sources such as wind, solar and biodiesel are mature, the enabling and storage technologies are new and emerging.”

The project is due for completion by the end of 2013. The scope includes trialing biodiesel, expanding the wind power capacity, restoring the existing vanadium redox battery and installing other energy storage. The application of the diesel UPS in this context is believed to be a world first.

The Au$46 million (US$47.5 million) project is being supported by the Australian government with more than Au$15 million in Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding.

The next phase of the evolution of the Island’s power system will include a smart grid, with the deployment of a dynamic demand response system and the installation of control, communications infrastructure and smart end use devices at participating customer premises.