The project will deploy 11 innovative small wind turbine systems, including 10 at off-grid telecommunications sites across Australia.
The Resilient Wind Energy for Telecommunication Sites project acknowledges that telecommunications providers in Australia currently rely on diesel generation to power their off-grid sites. This leaves them exposed to fluctuations in fuel prices and releases large amounts of carbon emissions. It also leaves them exposed during natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. Resiliency has become a major issue in the telecommunications industry following the Australian bushfire crisis, with large companies such as Telstra and Optus actively seeking out solutions. Adding more solar and batteries to the energy supply is not always an option due to either space or economic constraints.
Small wind turbines can be an alternative, as well as complementary to solar PV and batteries, particularly when use of solar PV and batteries is restricted due to space restrictions or solar availability. A nationwide rollout of Diffuse Energy’s wind turbine technology to off grid telecommunications sites could displace 17 GWh and 33,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation per year. This is equivalent to $43.9 million in savings of diesel fuel, transportation costs, and generator maintenance.
Presentation: ARENA Industry Reference Panel #3
This panel provided the following insights: an update on site installations and technical outcomes; an overview of technical challenges identified and updates applied; discussion on recommended steps for turbine mounting certification; and further information and knowledge sharing.
Video: Newcastle’s Diffuse Energy is transforming small wind turbines
Small wind turbines will be installed at ten remote Australian communication sites to provide a renewable alternative to widely used diesel generators, reducing energy costs and improving resilience against bushfires and other natural disasters.
The Resilient Wind Energy for Telecommunication Sites project will install Diffuse Energy’s small wind turbines at 10 off-grid telecommunication towers across various locations in Australia, along with an extra turbine at a site located near Diffuse Energy’s headquarters to validate system integration issues.
Prospective sites will be based on criteria including wind data, site load, different power system configurations (solar/battery/diesel) and geographical and topographical diversity. Once installed, Diffuse Energy will collect data and monitor performance against under a range of wind conditions.
The project will demonstrate real life applications of Diffuse Energy’s technology for commercial use, providing it with valuable technical and commercial data to validate the benefits of its technology.
The project aims to assist with reducing the cost of using more renewable energy through an increase in the penetration of on-site renewable energy coupled with a 20-100% reduction of diesel consumption annually at each of the sites (depending on the solar, battery and wind resource configuration on site).
Data will be gathered and analysed to demonstrate the technical, environmental and commercial benefits of small wind turbines in off-grid commercial applications, increasing the value delivered by renewable energy.
The project aims to increase the widespread adoption of small wind turbine technology in Australia.
In addition to reducing emissions and lowering energy costs, Diffuse Energy’s small wind technology can help to improve the resilience of telecommunications towers in critical times such as during bushfires to ensure they are able to operate and provide coverage to local communities when needed.
The project will also provide local job opportunities including manufacturing opportunities in Newcastle and Sydney.