The Garden Island Microgrid Project plans to be the world’s first wave energy integrated microgrid and will produce both power and desalinated water. The Project will involve the construction and integration of 2MW of photovoltaic solar capacity, a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system and a control system with the option to connect wave energy generation technology. Together this will form a microgrid designed to operate either independently or in conjunction with the Western Australian electricity network, seamlessly switching between the two through a control system.
Islands around the world typically lack energy and water security, and often rely heavily on electricity generated using costly, logistic intensive, imported fossil fuels like diesel. Reliance on diesel fuel generation can potentially inhibit investment in other social and economic development for these communities.
Renewable energy technology can reduce dependence on expensive fuel imports and create important business and employment opportunities, while delivering sustainable energy security. Remote coastal and island communities are therefore looking to renewable energy as a more sustainable alternative, particularly as island nations increasingly set higher penetration renewable energy targets to meet obligations, like the Paris Agreement (COP 21). In order to achieve high renewable energy penetration, island markets will require an integrated energy solution.
Wave energy has the potential to offer island and remote coastal communities unique advantages over alternative sources of energy. Due to its high energy density, wave energy also has a smaller physical footprint per unit of electricity produced. In remote island locations, energy and water security requirements, along with the high cost of imported diesel fuel and limited land can often be an issue.
Integrating wave technology, other renewable energy technologies and battery storage, to form a microgrid, provides a sustainable, affordable and reliable solution which meets the long-term energy needs of these communities.
This Project will design and install an array of 2MW solar PV panels, 2MW/0.5MWh energy storage, a control system, and will include augmentation of the grid connection. The project includes the option for wave energy to be incorporated into the microgrid along with the desalination plant previously installed in parallel with the Perth Wave Energy Project.
The project will demonstrate high penetration variable renewable energy (VRE) contribution in islanded and grid-connected configurations, with the capacity to switch between the production of power and desalinated water, making it unique and innovative.
The rapid progress in advanced power system control technologies combined with the increased competitiveness of energy storage has enabled very high penetration of VRE on islanded and fringe-of-grid power system. However, there are only a small number of projects in development, operation and/or construction, and this is the first to include the option of connecting wave energy.
In order to achieve high renewable energy penetration, island markets require an integrated energy solution. The Garden Island Microgrid Project aims to provide a clear working demonstration that wave energy integrated microgrids can be a viable solution that meet specific island and coastal fringe-of-grid communities’ energy needs and challenges.
The project will help accelerate the commercialisation of wave energy technology by demonstrating the technology as a renewable energy and water solution in an island/off-grid-ready microgrid setting.