Harnessing the elements for combined off-grid renewables

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency today announced $18.5 million of support for a renewable energy, diesel hybrid project at Coober Pedy in South Australia.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Energy Developments Limited (EDL) is proposing to combine wind, solar and diesel to provide the town with 70 per cent renewable energy over the life of the project.

“With ARENA’s support, EDL is seeking to integrate up to 2 MW of solar PV, 3 MW of wind generation and enabling technologies into its existing 3.9 MW diesel power station at Coober Pedy,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“This ambitious project may demonstrate a combined approach for powering off-grid Australian communities that currently rely solely on expensive trucked-in diesel.

Mr Frischknecht said the project will include short-term energy storage, fast start diesel engines and an advanced control system to enable smooth operation.

“These enabling technologies have been successfully tried and tested by Hydro Tasmania at the ARENA-supported King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project and this represents an opportunity to see them evolve for use on the mainland and in an outback community that has few alternative energy options,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Further demonstration of these technologies is expected to reduce costs over time and improve opportunities for future deployment without subsidies.

“EDL has identified a long-term pathway to commercialisation by demonstrating the potential to progressively deploy renewable solutions at off-grid locations as technology costs reduce and fossil fuel costs increase.

“EDL intends to restructure its existing power purchasing agreement with the District Council of Coober Pedy with a new 20-year agreement, providing a long-term customer base to support the renewable energy project.

“Australia’s energy demand is growing off the grid and this landmark project will show how high penetration renewable energy projects can deliver safe, reliable power to off-grid communities.”

The project is now subject to final investment decision by EDL, along with approvals and agreements. If approved, completion is anticipated in mid-2017.

About EDL

Energy Developments Limited ABN 84 053 410 263 (ENE) is an ASX listed international provider of safe, clean, low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions energy and remote energy solutions. ENE currently owns and operates a diversified international portfolio of power stations in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece from a range of fuel sources including landfill gas, waste coal mine gas, natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

In the year ended 30 June 2014:

  • ENE’s worldwide operations produced approximately 3.8 million MWh of energy, enough to power approximately 600,000 homes; and
  • ENE’s landfill gas power stations around the world, and waste coal mine power stations in Australia abated and avoided approximately 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHG emissions, equivalent to removing approximately 3.5 million cars from the road.

ARENA media contacts

James Webber – 0410 028 899
Judith Ion – 0434 169 037
media@arena.gov.au

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