Hydro Tasmania and its partners have brought about a renewable energy solution for a remote area, providing the residents of King Island with up to 50 percent wind power and at the same time provide greater system reliability. This development is at the forefront of Australia’s technical advance in renewable energy.King Island, Tasmania – March 1, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] At the official opening of the King Island wind farm expansion, Hydro Tasmania Chairman, Peter Rae, said that what had begun, as an experiment in 1998, was now a significant renewable energy supply for King Island. “The addition of two 850 kW Vestas turbines to the existing wind farm will increase the contribution of wind energy to the island’s electricity demand to about 50 percent,” Rae said.”This increase in wind energy production will provide substantial generation savings with a reduction in diesel fuel of around one million liters each year.” According to Hydro Tasmania, the additional wind energy will also result in an additional reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 2700 tons per year over and above the 1900 tons per year saving from the initial wind project. The development of an innovative battery system is a key factor in increasing the proportion of wind energy able to be used for power supply. “Solving the problem of wind energy variability and system reliability through the installation of a Vanadium Redox Battery is a key feature of the expansion,” Rae said. “The battery, which was supplied and installed by Pinnacle VRB, smoothes out the variability of the wind by storing excess wind energy and releasing it back into the system in a controlled way. This is the first commercial application of the battery in Australia.” Rae said that the King Island wind farm represented Hydro Tasmania’s commitment to the community and to developing innovative renewable energy projects. “Small, innovative developments such as the King Island wind farm, are as important to our future as large developments,” Rae added. Hydro Tasmania acknowledges the substantial funding support for this project by the Australian Government through the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program and the Renewable Energy Commercialization Program, administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office. The Tasmanian Office of Energy, Planning and Conservation also provided assistance in the administration of the funding. “This funding is important in encouraging the development of renewable energy solutions for remote communities,” Rae said “And this development, as for Hydro Tasmania’s other renewable energy projects, is underpinned by the Federal Government’s world leading MRET scheme”. Dr. David Kemp, Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, and Bryan Green, the Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, officially opened The King Island wind farm expansion.