The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Tasmanian Testbed for Large Integrated Renewable Energy Projects Ramps Up

A small island lying in the Bass Strait between Australia's states of Victoria and Tasmania is set to become the testbed for one of the most sophisticated integrated renewable energy technologies in the world.

The A$46 million (US$47.5 million) King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP) developed by state-owned Hydro Tasmania, with the help of state and federal funding, combines a range of new and existing technologies with the aim of reducing the island’s dependence on expensive diesel-generated power. Uniquely, the system will allow for the integration of wind, solar and conventional diesel — eventually to be replaced with bio-diesel – with a giant battery that enables energy storage and smoothing of intermittency without any loss of reliability or grid stability.

“The way these technologies are being used and integrated is world-leading and another example of the clever solutions to real-world problems that have been developed in Tasmania and can be exported globally,” company chairman Dr. David Crean said in a statement. Hydro Tasmania is looking to take KIREIP to other remote and off-grid locations in Australia and around the world.

“Although there are remote area power systems in some parts of the world that are capable of supplying the energy needs of single homes or small villages, this is the first remote system on this scale capable of supplying the energy needs of an entire community primarily through wind and solar energy,” chief executive Roy Adair said in a statement.

KIREIP will deploy Australia’s largest battery, developed by Ecoult — the local subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based battery manufacturer East Penn Manufacturing. Its 3-MW/1.6-MWh UltraBattery has the capacity to power the entire island for up to 45 minutes, enabling Hydro Tasmania to realise substantial savings, Hydro Tasmania’s manager of renewable asset development Simon Gamble told Renewable Energy World. 

Invented by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), UltraBattery is an advanced hybrid lead-acid battery that operates very efficiently in continuous partial state of charge use without frequent overcharge maintenance cycles.

Gamble said Hydro Tasmania is currently in discussions with local utilities about providing the integrated solution to other remote communities in Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. KIREIP is expected to provide a good insight into what future grids might look like in 20-30 years, deploying a combination of renewable technologies, backed up by dispatchable power and storage.

Ecoult’s chief executive, Australian John Wood, said the UltraBattery would “shift and smooth” renewable energy generated on King Island and help maintain stability of the power grid. “Ecoult’s UltraBattery solutions support the utilisation of renewable energy by storing energy in periods where there is excess generation and making it available when it is needed to better match demand,” Wood said in a statement. 

The island, with a mixture of residential and large commercial power customers — such as a National Foods dairy processing plant — installed its first wind turbines in 1998 in an attempt to head off the crippling cost of diesel. Today, it has a maximum renewable energy capacity of 2.45 MW, which Gamble said the company expects to expand to 6 MW in a couple of years in order to meet peak demand of 3 MW. The shorter-term aim is for the system to meet 65 percent of the island’s energy needs.

Ecoult already has two successful large systems in the U.S., supported by the Department of Energy: a PNM-owned 550-kW solar PV smoothing and shifting project in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which provides variability management directly at the point of generation; and a regulation services site on the PJM Grid providing variability management directly on the grid. On King Island, Ecoult is providing variability management on an island grid.

The company has also successfully demonstrated its technology at the Hampton Wind Farm in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney, one of the largest storage projects in the Southern Hemisphere.

The research links the UltraBattery system with algorithms designed to analyse weather patterns and fine-tune the storage system to the power input that is on the way, which in turn helps smooth-out power supply to the grid. The over-arching objective of the research was to achieve higher penetration of wind and renewable energy in grids.

In the US context, energy storage has just received a boost by “pay for performance”, which means systems such as the one of the PJM Network now are “very strong economic propositions,” Wood said. “You will see an expansion of adoption for box storage into those sorts of applications in the US,” he said.

Wood sees a promising outlook for energy storage solutions on the grid. “King Island will be the model used over and over,” he said. “We are really trying to make the energy storage solution standard and simple for the developer.”

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

States Already Seek To Delay Clean Power Plan

Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia asked a federal court to stall Obama administration rules intended to c...

Stolen Solar Panels and Sabotage A Challenge for Powering India With Renewable Energy

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg Disappointment spread across Tarun Singh’s face when he saw that parts of his solar power microgrid in eastern India’...

Suntech Parent Company Buys Majority Share of US-based Suniva

Ehren Goossens Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., the Hong Kong-based solar company controlled by billionaire Zheng Jianming,...

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Independent journalist with a background in sustainable business and ethical finance, the renewable and low-emission energy sectors, climate-change science and policy and the not-for-profit sector.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Intersolar India 2015

Exhibition and Conference: November 18-20, 2015 Intersolar India 2015 I...

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

COMPANY BLOGS

How To Recruit An Internal Ally

When you’re collecting information for a proposal, the person with...

The Proof Is Not Always In The Pudding

One of the best ways to turn a skeptical prospect into a buyer is to giv...

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS