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Wed, 29/01/2014
Energy dashboard phone application
Energy dashboard phone application
Energy usage phone application
Energy usage phone application
Open day viewing of DUPS enabling technology
Open day viewing of DUPS enabling technology

King Island leads the way in embracing renewable energy solutions - Smart Grid Update

As 2014 begins, Hydro Tasmania’s King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project is nearing completion, with all major elements in place and operational. 

The KIRIEP has reduced the King Island’s reliance on diesel and will result in the use of renewable energy for around 65% of the island’s annual electricity needs.

As a demonstration project, there have been many learnings through the KIREIP. We have made many technical advances, solved many problems and documented our learnings to share with others. The result is a unique test bed on King Island for the development of renewable energy technologies.

In 2013 we ran the King Island Power Station on renewable energy alone (no diesel) for more than 155 hours (more than six days) using the existing wind turbines and our advanced enabling technology.

This achievement is world leading. It is the first time zero diesel operation has been achieved on a megawatt scale in an off-grid system anywhere in the world, bringing King Island international recognition for embracing renewable technology.

With the installation of Australia’s largest battery just before Christmas we aim to do even better this year, operating without diesel for longer periods.

Other islands around Australia, such as Rottnest Island, Norfolk Island and some South Pacific islands are interested in learning from the King Island project. The KIREIP could also provide insight into how the Australian grid might look in a few decades – a combination of renewables backed up by dispatchable power and with storage solutions.

The KIREIP is an initiative of Hydro Tasmania and has been developed with financial assistance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Tasmanian Government.

Progress on the Smart Grid trial

Part of the KIREIP was the rollout of a Smart Grid trial in the King Island community.  We are delighted to have more than 100 sites installed and actively participating in the trial. 

We are currently operating the Smart Grid system, and have already run many load-reduction events, when we remotely switch off your hot water for just a few seconds. As intended, you will not have noticed any change, because the ‘off’ time required is so short. The Smart Grid trial is continuing well and will do so for many months to come.  We will keep you informed of our progress.

As part of the Smart Grid project, in April 2014 an iPhone application and web portal will be released, offering a great way to monitor how much energy you use and to find ways to reduce energy and save money.

Unfortunately, due to budget and time constraints we need to reduce the number of Smart Grid units to be installed. A number of households that volunteered to participate will not have Smart Grid equipment installed. We will be sending out letters in the next fortnight to households indicating whether their property is one of those we unfortunately will no longer be able to include in the trial.  

We thank all those who volunteered to be part of the Smart Grid trial. We confirm that we honored our donations to all community groups (including those households that may not have got installations for various reasons). More than $11 000 dollars was donated to 22 different non-profit groups on King Island through the Smart Grid program.  We were very pleased to be able to work with the community to raise such great interest in participating in this valuable demonstration project.

During autumn we will hold a second public open day at the Power Station to celebrate all the achievements you have helped us reach in the past few years. So stay tuned for details and we hope to see you there.

For further information visit www.kingislandrenewableenergy.com.au or you can contact our team members Jen McDonnell or Mike Ross on 1300 360 441.