The opal capital of the world in regional South Australia is set to pioneer an advanced approach to off-grid renewables.
The Coober Pedy Renewable Diesel Hybrid project has reached financial close and will be built, owned and operated by Energy Developments Limited (EDL).
The project will use a unique hybrid combination of 4 MW wind, 1 MW solar and a 1MW /250kWh battery to provide the town of Coober Pedy with up to 70 per cent renewable energy over a 20 year project life. This will be integrated with EDL’s existing 3.9 MW diesel power station.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $18.4 million funding support, enabling the project to reach financial close. ARENA’s long-lens investment focus has allowed it to work together with EDL throughout the two year conception phase.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the Coober Pedy project was a prime example of Australia’s world-leading expertise in devising renewable micro-grid solutions with strong export potential.
“This is a next-generation off-grid project, taking advantage of advanced renewable and enabling technologies that have already been successfully trialled at off-grid locations such as King Island,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“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.”
The project is underpinned by a 20 year power purchase agreement with the District Council of Coober Pedy, supported by the South Australian Government.
Construction is due to commence in September 2016 and completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.