The Lord Howe Island Hybrid Renewable Project will add more than 1.2 MW of renewable energy generating capacity and over 3.2 MWh of battery storage to the current diesel power generation system operating on Lord Howe Island, NSW.
Lord Howe Island is a small and remote island, located in the Tasman Sea 600 kilometres from the Australian mainland. It is a World Heritage site, which has a permanent Island community as well as being an iconic tourist destination. The Lord Howe Island Board (which has care, control and management of the Lord Howe Island Group) faces a unique set of challenges in supplying and recovering the costs of providing essential services to its community and in protecting the Island’s unique natural environment and World Heritage values. The Island relies on diesel generation for its power, which is costly and subject to volatility in fuel prices and supply. The diesel fuel is transported to the Island by a small freight ship, which comes to the Island every two to three weeks.
The project involves installing 1.2 MW of solar PV generation with over 3.2 MWh of battery storage, allowing high penetration of renewable energy. This combination of technologies will lead to the island using at least 67 per cent less diesel on average.
It will also aim to demonstrate the reliability of an advanced renewable solution for remote off-grid communities. In this way it will also serve as an example for other remote communities looking at alternative ways to generate energy.
This is a variation of the initial Lord Howe Island Hybrid Renewable project, which aimed to deliver 1 MW of renewable energy through a combination of solar PV and wind turbine generation. During the course of the initial project, an alternative technology pathway utilising solar PV and battery storage for the island’s microgrid was selected.
The renewable energy system will significantly reduce the reliance of the Lord Howe Island community on expensive, shipped-in diesel, with a sustainable solution combining solar generation and storage. This will be of great benefit to the Lord Howe Island community and visitors to the Island.
It will also help to make deployments of renewable energy systems in similar remote locations less expensive through knowledge sharing and better business models for planning and construction.
The Lord Howe Island Group is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding biodiversity, uniqueness and international importance. It is an iconic tourist destination.
The objective of installing renewable energy on the Island is to reduce the consumption of diesel fuel which is shipped to the Island, thereby reducing emissions and improving financial and environmental sustainability.