Tasmanian renewable to power Australia’s isolated communities

Tasmanian renewable innovation is set to power one of Australia’s most isolated communities.

Hydro Tasmania has been engaged by Energy Developments Limited (EDL) to help transform Coober Pedy in remote South Australia into a renewable energy township.

The Coober Pedy Renewable Diesel Hybrid project has been made possible by $18.4 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding support to EDL.

Once Hydro Tasmania’s world-leading technology is in place, the opal mining town of about 3500 people will draw an average 70 per cent of its energy from solar and wind. The town will be completely powered by renewable energy when conditions allow.

The Coober Pedy project will use the technologies developed and proven by Hydro Tasmania in its successful ARENA-supported King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project, which has reduced the Bass Strait Island’s annual diesel consumption by 60 per cent on average.

In addition to successes on King Island, the technology is being rolled out at ARENA supported projects on Flinders and Rottnest Islands.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Hydro Tasmania had joined a growing list of companies that have commercialised early-stage renewable energy technologies with ARENA support.

“The Coober Pedy project is a prime example of Australia’s world-leading expertise in devising renewable micro-grid solutions with strong commercial potential,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“This is a next-generation off-grid project that’s taking advantage of advanced renewable and enabling technologies being deployed and trialled by Hydro Tasmania across three different projects with $16.3 million total ARENA funding support.

“Combining wind, solar, battery storage and smart control systems could provide a blueprint for off-grid communities to access cleaner and cheaper power and achieve energy independence by greatly reducing their reliance on trucked-in diesel.

“We’re committed to working with Hydro Tasmania to share the learning from its projects, maximising the benefits from ARENA funding and accelerating the rollout of renewable energy in remote Australia.”

EDL supplies power to Coober Pedy via a 3.9 megawatt diesel power station. Under the contract, Hydro Tasmania will supply EDL with its proprietary enabling technology, comprised of control, load management and storage systems.