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Wed, 08/05/2013
The exsiting wind turbines at Huxley Hill Wind Farm
The exsiting wind turbines at Huxley Hill Wind Farm

Reduction in electricity demand results in change for KIREIP

Due to a reduction in electricity demand on King Island, the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP) will no longer require an expansion to the Huxley Hill wind farm to achieve its goal of increased average renewable energy use. 

The closure of the JBS Swift abattoir in September 2012 caused a significant reduction in electricity use in the King Island system. Since that time the KIREIP team has monitored the change in electricity demand. This information has now been analysed showing a 32 per cent decrease in demand for the period September 2012 to March 2013.

Hydro Tasmania’s Simon Gamble said the reduction in electricity demand caused by the abattoir closure meant that the business did not require the additional electricity supply which the wind farm expansion would have delivered.

“Hydro Tasmania has therefore made the decision not to proceed with the wind farm expansion at this time,” Simon said.

Hydro Tasmania is discussing the change in the scope of KIREIP with ARENA - the body responsible for administering the REDP grant funding that has supported the project to date.

The decision not to proceed with the KIREIP wind farm expansion has been made in isolation from the TasWind concept.

KIRIEP aims to increase renewable energy use on King Island from an average of 35 per cent to 65 per cent, and to run the electricity generation system for periods of time with zero diesel generation. This is a world first for a system of this size.

KIREIP’s main objectives of running the King Island electricity system with zero diesel operation and average renewable energy use of 65 per cent will still be achieved without the wind farm expansion. The existing supply arrangements can meet the lowered demand.

Simon said it was likely that new wind turbines at the Huxley Hill site will be required in the future, when the existing turbines reach the end of their service lives in the next five to 10 years.