The Coober Pedy Renewable Diesel Hybrid project will install 1MW solar, 4MW wind generation, a 1MW, 0.5MWh battery storage and inverter system as well as a range of additional proven technologies, integrated with Energy Developments Ltd’s (EDL) existing 3.9MW diesel power station in Coober Pedy.
Coober Pedy is an iconic mining town in South Australia and, like many remote locations, relies on diesel-fired generators to provide electricity. EDL has supplied power to Coober Pedy since 2004.
EDL plans to combine 1MW of solar PV and 4MW of wind energy generation and a 1MW, 0.5MWh battery storage and inverter system as well as a range of additional proven technologies to displace up to 70% of the current diesel fired generation at Coober Pedy. If successful the project could be replicated at other off-grid locations within EDL’s current generation portfolio. ARENA’s funding commitment has allowed the project to progress to advanced planning and decision making stages.
In off-grid locations, renewable energy has unique advantages over fossil fuels.
Many remote Australian communities rely on diesel generators that are expensive to run and create uncertainty due to the volatility of fuel prices.
Transporting fuels long distances for the generators is also costly, dangerous and subject to variable weather conditions.
While diesel prices have dropped in the last 2 years, prices are expected to rise again in the long-term.
This volatility makes accurate budgeting difficult for the District Council of Coober Pedy, and the South Australian Government, which subsidises power prices in Coober Pedy.
The Coober Pedy Renewable Diesel Hybrid project aims to achieve the highest penetration renewable energy in Australia at approximately 70% over the life of the project.
Coober Pedy has abundant wind and solar resources that complement each other very well. The sun shines through the day and there are relatively strong winds through the night.
Combining the two renewable energy sources with advanced, proven enabling technologies (resistor, short-term storage and fast start diesel generators) is expected to significantly reduce diesel consumption.
All power requirements are expected to be supplied by renewable energy up to 70% of the time.
This project would provide lower and more stable levelised cost of electricity over the project life for Coober Pedy and the South Australian Government. Reliable power supply will be maintained while diesel consumption is reduced, improving the plant’s environmental footprint.
Deployment of enabling technologies and lessons learned along the way would enable EDL to replicate this type of hybrid renewable energy generation in other remote areas of Australia.
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