WA’s Rottnest Island to get an off-grid hybrid power system


Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy Hydro Tasmania will deploy an off-grid hybrid system that will transform the popular Rottnest Island in Western Australia.

Image credit: ARENA
Image credit: ARENA

The $7.3 million project – a combination of solar, wind, diesel, storage and advanced control technologies – has been supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

ARENA is providing $4.8 million for the realisation of the project that is expected to be completed in March 2017.

“Hydro Tasmania, with support from ARENA, has spent several years developing its off-grid energy solutions that combine renewable and enabling technologies with existing diesel generation to provide reliable power. This project will build on Hydro Tasmania’s efforts on King Island. Six hundred kilowatts of new solar photovoltaic (PV) will be integrated with the existing 600 kW wind turbine and diesel generators on Rottnest Island by adopting the advanced control systems developed during the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said in a media release.

“Hydro Tasmania will also integrate its control systems with the Rottnest Island desalination plant and water storage facility, allowing the plant and pumps to be switched on when renewable generation outstrips demand on the island. This will allow more renewable energy to be used without the need to install batteries. This innovative approach could be replicated in other remote off-grid communities that rely on desalinated water.”

The project is specifically designed to boost the amount of renewable energy used on the island to 45%.