History

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King Island Renewable Energy Expansion (KIREX)
King Island Renewable Energy Expansion (KIREX)

King Island Renewable Energy Expansion (KIREX)

In the year 2000 Hydro Tasmania developed a proposal to enhance the existing Huxley Hill wind farm to increase the penetration of wind power, with the aim of further reducing cost of electricity supply through savings in diesel fuel use. The project was known as the King Island Renewable Energy Expansion (KIREX) project. This project has further reduced diesel use in addition to the original Huxley Hill project since its implementation in 2003.

KIREX supplemented the existing Huxley Hill wind farm with two additional WTGs, specifically Vestas V52s capable of producing a maximum of 850 kW of power each, increasing the total rated capacity of the wind farm to 2.45 MW. Operational experience with these turbines has been excellent, with effective regulation of power output facilitated through the Vestas control system providing stable wind power output even in challenging wind conditions.

In order to increase the level of renewable energy contribution to the load, a Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) energy storage system was also installed. The objective of the storage system was to increase the recoverable portion of renewable energy and to smooth the variable output of the wind farm to enhance the use of wind power to displace diesel generation. Finally, a substantial upgrade to the existing control system was needed in order to optimise the secure operation of system.

Following an operational event, the VRB is currently out of service. Hydro Tasmania is currently evaluating rectification or replacement of that energy storage system.