24 July 2014 — A one megawatt, $11.6 million renewable energy project with storage will see Lord Howe Island reduce its diesel consumption by 70 per cent, thanks to $4.5 million in funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The hybrid system will feature wind, solar, battery storage as well as demand management technology.
“The Lord Howe Island Board is leading this exciting project, which will demonstrate a renewable solution for small off-grid communities,” ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said.
“It will involve installing one megawatt 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 kilometres off the east coast of Australia and, like many remote areas, is heavily reliant on diesel generators, which have poor environmental outcomes and are exposed to fuel price volatility.
Mr Frischknecht said the project would help set out a pathway for off-grid communities and businesses such as mining operations 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 off-grid Australia.”
Lord Howe Island Board chief executive Penny Holloway said the community had been working towards a renewable energy alternative for more than a decade.
“This means that the long-awaited sustainable energy program for Lord Howe Island can now become a reality,” Ms Holloway said.
NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said it was a fantastic example of NSW being at the forefront of energy policy.
“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.