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King Island achieves 100% renewables – wind, solar, storage

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Hydro Tasmania is hailing a major breakthrough with its King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project , saying it has achieved extended periods of 100 per cent renewable energy for the island’s grid – the first time that a grid of this scale has been serviced by wind, solar and storage devices.

The King Island project combines some 2.45MW of wind and a lot less solar power, with storage devices and an automated control system. The $46 million project has been funded by the federal Government and has been described as a potential insight into how Australia’s main grids can wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Project leader Simon Gamble says the major achievement so far has been the ability to switch off all fossil fuels completely for extended periods while variable renewable sources such as wind and solar  are used. This is the first time this has been achieved for a load of this size (some renewable grids such as Pacific island of  Tokelau’s are just 100kW is size), and the first time with predominantly wind power.

“This has removed a key barrier,” Gamble told RenewEconomy. Such systems had usually succeeded in turning down the amount of fossil fuel power needed, but not switching them off altogether. The full range of storage and control management systems have yet to be deployed.

“Achieving 100 per cent renewable energy penetration in large off-grid systems has remained elusive until now, and is very difficult to achieve given the need to maintain reliability and security of power supply under highly variable wind and solar conditions,” he said in an earlier statement>

The overall project aims to cut the use of diesel consumption on King Island by more than 65 per cent over a one year period, but it will allow diesel generators to be switched off when not required. So far it has achieved zero diesel operation for periods of up to 1.5 hours overnight when customer demand is lowest, and in daylight hours under high wind conditions.

Last year, Gamble told RenewEconomy that the project would provide an insight into how the Australian grid might look in a few decades – a combination of renewables backed up by dispatchable power and with storage solutions. “The NEM (National Electricity Market) is a much larger system, but it will have similar technical issues,” Gamble said then. “If we are integrating more wind, and solar, we need to learn how to do it.”

The project is using Hydro Tasmania’s own advanced automated control systems and dynamic resistor technology, coupled with a standard flywheel uninterruptible power supply system, commonly used in hospitals and telephone exchanges. Later this year, customer load control will be introduced, as well as a 3MW battery array from Ecoult, which is developing an enhanced lead battery known as the “UltraBattery” first unveiled by the CSIRO.

Gamble says this enables all diesel generation on King Island to be switched off more often when there is sufficient wind and solar power to meet customer demand. “The transition from diesel power station to 100 per cent renewables, and back again when and as required, is entirely automated and allows the station to achieve significant diesel savings while operating unstaffed.”

The project was to have installed more wind generation, but the closing down of the island’s major industrial site, the local abattoir, last October, caused a rethink. The peak load is around 2.3MW. The project will retain the 2.45MW current wind capacity (which is separate from the plans for a 600MW wind farm on King Island to export electricity to the mainland). It also has a 100kW solar PV array and a further 100kW of solar PV on the rooftops of island homes.

“Hydro Tasmania’s integrated solution ensures that rapid and unpredictable changes in sun or wind conditions don’t cause interruptions to power supply – even when these are the only source of generation available,” the company said in a statement.

“Although there are remote area power systems in some parts of the world that are capable of supplying the energy needs of single homes or small villages, this is the first remote system on this scale capable of supplying the power needs of an entire community, including industrial customers and an extensive distribution network, solely through wind and solar energy.

“Having established that zero diesel operation is possible, we are now looking to increase the duration for which we can operate in this mode.”

Hydro Tasmania is seeking to commercialise its off-grid energy solutions and export these to customers in Australia, and in due course to the Pacific and the South East Asia region.

 

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  • barrie harrop

    All we need to know now is their actual cost of energy per kwh without massive Federal Govt subsidies.
    By the way Gov’t regulations will not allow one to operate a large diesel power plant unstaffed .

    • Andrew Bray

      Barrie, the other thing we need to know is the reduction in emissions they achieve. Measuring the cost with no reference to the benefit it provides is an empty exercise.

      • barrie harrop

        Yes Andrew, over $25m in Govt Grants for a 5MW plant is quite a record cost,one wonders how they are going scale up this project too,or is their business model totally dependent on Govt grant money?

        • Andrew Bray

          Or, we could just wait and hope someone works it out. given all we know about the need to cut emissions, I think we can be a bit more energetic than that.

          Sometimes governments spend money on developments that are useful. I’d be interested to know what it cost the government to build the first coal-fired power plants in Victoria, together with all the associated infrastructure. It was quite useful then, but now it’s the problem that needs to be fixed.

        • Roger Brown

          Just remember that King Island is a remote area and costs would have been higher to set up. How much does the Diesel rebate cost Tax payers per year ? about $9 BILLION to fill Gina’s and the foreign owned miners trucks etc etc Spread the $25 M Govt. grant over 10-20 yrs and its chicken feed. Wonder what the cost was under the diesel power for a year ????

          • barrie harrop

            Roger, there is big difference between 5MW plant of unknown actual energy costs from the King Island subsidized Hybrid systems aside whether or not its scalable that is not proven.

            As for the major users of remote mining energy these groups are running in the case of the major groups 30MW-40MW– 60MW diesel plants,so it’s huge leap from 5MW to these actual market real world requirements .

            The Diesel rebate costs over $2bn per year and in my view should be eliminated.

        • Hydro Tasmania

          The total budget of the project is approx. $18m, the funding deed with the Commonwealth allows for up to one third funding meaning that Hydro Tasmania will receive approx $6m in grant funding support. This funding has supported the developments to date and will also assist with the implementation of Australia’s largest battery and a demand response system before the end of 2013. 

          This project has been received grant funding because it can demonstrate how our concept can work, as someone noted subsequent systems will be more cost effective, utilising learnings from this project and lowering development costs. Hydro Tasmania’s goal is for this to be a commercially viable product and work is already being conducted on improving capabilities to develop modular systems. 

          A reduction in 65% of the diesel fuel required to operate the King Island system will reduce emissions by just that amount. This puts King Island at less than half the emissions intensity of the Australian National Electricity Market. On King Island the cost of electricity at the generator is approx $0.40/kWh – this doesn’t account for power systems costs. Our project reduces this production cost, thus creating a business case for the investment in renewables and enabling equipment. 

          Although this solution is not suitable for all off-grid systems which vary greatly in size from a few kW up to many megawatts, there are many thousands of locations globally which this concept could be scaled and applied to.

  • Ketan Joshi

    This is great. Places like King Island can serve as the frontier for zero carbon technologies.

  • Roy Ramage

    Good, some progress and importantly the CSIRO link. Now, when will the cost of energy for Tasmanians fall from being the second highest in the country? Can King Islanders now have shares in a renewable enrgy industry and share in the wealth as it is exported to Victoria or will the status quo monopoly models prevail?

    • RuralGrubby

      Dream on Mate!!

  • RuralGrubby

    Has nobody noticed that it was only for 1.5 hours that renewables provided all of the electrical generation, all at taxpayers expense? As usual the windies like to make a big deal out of nothing.

    • Pieter Siegers

      You’re a real doomthinker!

      • RuralGrubby

        It’s called being a realist and a critical thinker rather than somebody who would rather rely on intuitive thinking and well phrased spin that appeals to one’s visceral satisfaction that something (no matter how meaningless it is) is being done!

        • Graham Tea

          Whats wrong mate ? Your shares in fossil fuels declining ? Lost your job as a result of renewable investment ? Going to lose your job soon in a coal power plant ?
          How do you plan on solving increasing fuel costs and climate change ?
          I’m all ears

          • RuralGrubby

            Classical “greenie” response who has to blame those who question the need & value of renewables like wind, on the assumption that the opposing opinion is biased by having vested interest in the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps you should hook up only to the renewables (wind & solar), with no back-up and show us with real world data the value of “green” energy. Something that has NEVER been done for any of the renewables; EVER.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Perhaps you should try running your life off only a single coal plant or nuclear reactor.

            There will be times when you don’t have electricity.

            No generation is reliably 24/365. That’s why we design grids with backup and storage in order to keep your beer cold day in and day out, all around the clock.

            Now the issue is, what is the cheapest and least harmful way to feed our future grid. Renewables with storage is the answer.

          • RuralGrubby

            So when was the last time you didn’t have electricity Bob while using conventional forms of electricity? You’re talking about scheduled maintenance. Wind turbines is all about intermittent, unreliable, non-dispatchable, inefficient & costly generation that has to be 100% backed up by fossil-fuels for when it stops at the drop of a hat. What type of storage? Nothing around that large or cost effective and capable of running the needs of a modern grid.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Grid outages are fairly common. I don’t experience them because I’m off the grid. However the local grid, or at least parts of it, go down multiple times per year due to storms, falling trees and vehicles taking out power poles.

            Nuclear reactors and coal plants go offline without warning. The grid has to be designed to minimize outages and to fill in for disruptions in supply.

            Every single generation technology has to be 100% backed up in some way. We don’t necessarily provide that backup all the time. Look at the problems So Cal has had after losing the two San Onofre reactors and the problems Japan has had following Fukushima. In both cases nuclear was not adequately backed up.

            There is absolutely no requirement that we use fossil fuels for that backup. Right now we back up coal and nuclear with hydro and storage as well as dispatchable gas. We’ll back up renewables the same way, over time replacing the NG with storage and biogas.

            We built 21 GW of pump-up hydro and CAES in the US in order to be able to use nuclear on the US grid. Japan built even more.

            Right now pump-up is the least expensive form of storage. Vanadium redox batteries are only a bit more expensive and there are new battery technologies emerging which should be cheaper.

          • RuralGrubby

            So you are telling me that industrial wind turbines or solar panels are never affected by falling trees, storms etc??? Also comparing your home based renewable situation is comparing apples to oranges when talking about the situation described in this article which is all about taxpayers supporting industrial scale wind and solar and whether this costly scheme is really providing the value that it claims. You are also confusing the issue of disrupted transmission of electricity with highly intermittent generation, where wind and solar can be gone within seconds, creating havoc for grid operators that must counter at the drop of a hat.

            As for the Fukushima situation, Japan is now facing the reality of having to include nuclear in it’s portfolio simply because they have come to realize that “renewables” are never going to cut it in providing the generation needed for a modern grid. It takes well over 3000 wind turbines to replace one reactor which is also misleading, because what do you use when wind or sun is not there 75% of the time. Based on your intuitive thinking it’s all about pumped storage…., nice in concept but in reality cannot compensate for wind and solar which can be out for days as well as ignores the massive amounts of land that has to set aside. As for battery technology, again something that is a long way off and very expensive which requires another limited resource called rare earth metals that are predominantly only available in China. As for using biogas, another feel good idea that just doesn’t cut it, where now the U.K. has to import lumber from the U.S. in order to meet their demand. The problem I encounter with postings like Bob’s is there are huge assumptions being made:

            1) renewables can replace one for one fossil fuels (They can’t)

            2) that the use of renewables will reduce GHG emissions (they don’t)

            3) that the use of renewables will be cost effective. (it isn’t)

            What is important here is the government should not be engaged in projects that are not supported by a genuine scientific analysis proving that there will be a net positive benefit to all consumers. This has NEVER been done for things like wind and solar.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “So you are telling me that industrial wind turbines or solar panels are never affected by falling trees, storms etc???”

            Of course not. There’s a video on line of a F3 tornado going through a wind farm. It takes the blades off the turbine it hits dead on, doesn’t injure the others. And a turbine in Scotland had its brakes fail and it spun itself to death in a high wind event. Stuff happens.

            BTW, the world has almost a quarter million wind turbines. Losing one now and then it to be expected.

            And a 30 year study of a large solar array reported a 2% panel failure rate over the 30 years. 0.07% per year. Stuff happens.

            ” where wind and solar can be gone within seconds, creating havoc for grid operators that must counter at the drop of a hat.”

            Actually wind and solar output changes are easy to predict well before they happen and plans can be put into place to deal with that.

            The big problem for grid managers is when a large thermal plant suddenly goes offline without advance notice. As happened in So Cal when San Onofre went down due to a grid power surge and when the two reactors went offline in Virginia following an earthquake.

            ” because they have come to realize that “renewables” are never going to cut it in providing the generation needed for a modern grid”

            That’s just a silly claim that doesn’t deserve a response.

            ” battery technology, again something that is a long way off and very expensive which requires another limited resource called rare earth metals that are predominantly only available in China.”

            No, EOS System zinc-air batteries are going on the grid in a few months. No rare earth metals in them. Ambri’s liquid metal batteries are scheduled to go into production in 2014 and use “cheap as dirt” materials.

            We are mining and processing rare earth minerals in the US and in other countries. China dominated production as they undercut prices when demand was lower. Now that demand has risen prices have risen and other countries are beginning production. We used to produce REMs in North Carolina before China priced that plant out of business.

            1)
            2)
            3)
            And the rest.

            All wrong. But I suspect you are well defended against facts that counter act your bias. I can’t see any reason to spend time feeding you facts that you will discard.

          • RuralGrubby

            Of course no bias coming from that anointed thinking you believe as the ultimate truth. A sign of someone who has vested interest in promoting green energy (i.e. is either selling solar panels or wind turbines) The basic point we should be condoning is whether there is scientific proof that renewable energy is a net societal benefit.
            It is as simple as that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh, come on Grubby.

            The facts don’t support your bias so you accuse the person delivering the facts to be an agent of the wind/solar industry.

            “The basic point we should be condoning is whether there is scientific proof that renewable energy is a net societal benefit.”

            Now, I’m not sure what you’re trying to get across in this sentence but let’s assume you’re asking if renewable energy produces a net societal benefit. Right?

            Well, let’s run down the list.

            Coal is killing people. In the mines and with its pollution. Getting coal off the grid is a societal benefit.

            Oil is also killing people. Oil wars and pollution. Getting oil out of our energy mix is a societal benefit.

            Renewable energy will give us unlimited amounts of energy at prices better than fossil fuels and nuclear energy. More societal benefits.

            Now, do you need documentation to prove to you that miners are dying all around the world? Or that coal pollution is killing people and making more ill? Or that the Sun and wind could provide far more electricity than we could ever imagine using?

            Tell us what you don’t know.

          • RuralGrubby

            So lay it bare Bob, do you work for the wind or solar industry? Was I not accused of working for the coal industry by Graham Tea?
            Your simplistic logic fails to support your arguments:
            1) coal kills people…. Transportation is the greatest source of respiratory illness; wind and solar cannot effectively replace coal and there is no documentation which shows that renewables can replace coal. http://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/osst-letter.pdf

            2) Oil is also killing people…..oil is rarely used in electrical generation,(less than 3%)…. sooo, your logic here should also lead you to give up whatever renewable system you have for your home since, oil was more than likely used to manufacture any of those solar panels you may have

            3) Renewable energy may seem unlimited but harnessing wind and sun has proven to be very expensive. http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=19538

            As for the battery issue, have a look here on how well that’s working within a wind energy project, where a stubborn fire in Hawaii burned all day http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/164684136.html?id=164684136

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do I work for the wind or solar industry?

            No I do not. And never have. I have no investments in wind and solar outside what may be buried in the thousands of companies that make up the several indexed mutual funds I own. I’ve never gone though those funds, company by company, but would have no problem expecting that I have far more investment in fossil fuels that renewables. Perhaps nothing in renewables.

            If you have a problem with someone else then take that up with them.

            1) Transportation may be a larger creator of respiratory illness. That does not let coal off the hook. In fact, it simply means that we have greater reason to quit using fossil fuels.

            “there is no documentation which shows that renewables can replace coal”

            How about this 9 GW of coal in Australia?

            http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/agl-says-9gw-of-baseload-fossil-fuels-no-longer-needed-35369

            2) Nonsensical. We are transitioning off fossil fuels. It will take a while. Already we have enough wind capacity on line to produce all the electricity needed to manufacture wind turbines. And enough solar capacity on line to manufacture solar panels.

            3) Onshore wind in the US is roughly 6c/kWh and dropping. Utility scale solar in the US has recently hit the 10c/kWh point. Were we installing at European rates solar in the Southwest would be competitive with natural gas combined cycle plants. Solar will continue to drop and soon be one of our two cheapest ways to generate electricity along with wind.

            You think that battery fire was something? You should see what happened in Fukushima!

            We’ve got zinc-air batteries coming on line in a few months which contain no flammable materials. Neither do liquid metal batteries.

          • RuralGrubby

            1) You provided and opinion piece that simply correlates that coal is down therefore solar must be the reason. I see no supporting data that shows solar is the reason. It also forgets the fact that we had a financial fallout in 2008 which devastated the manufacturing sector or is seeing this sector leave in large part because electricity prices have gone up as a result of “green” schemes. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wind-energy-encounters-problems-and-resistance-in-germany-a-910816.html
            2) I can certainly believe that there is enough wind and solar generation to manufacture turbines and panels especially when one realizes that the majority are coming from offshore companies like Suzlon, Vestas, Siemens, Enercon.

            3) The prices you use in the U.S. are the result of their PTC and state run renewable mandates. i.e. more taxpayer $$$$ propping up an industry that could not survive on it’s own which is being used to compete for contracts on the market with distributors.
            -When you say solar will continue to drop, this does not translate into reducing the price of the electricity rates, only the price of the units which in turn returns greater profits to the developer and not the electrical consumer.
            As for the Fukushima issue, no matter how many turbines and solar panels one wishes to erect, this will never replace the NEED for nuclear generation since renewable capacity is rated at best 25% of their nameplate. Nuclear is 92% and for a resource and land limited country like Japan, they don’t have much choice.
            As for your zinc-air battery issue, the lifespan is highly variable for these units avg. around 3 yrs. Another huge cost that has to be factored into the price of electricity and a waste problem, “greenies” conveniently like to ignore.

          • Bob_Wallace

            1) An opinion piece? Horse poop.

            This is a report of a utility company stating that they need to close coal plants because of the amount of solar on their grid.

            2) Your comment has nothing to do with the issue.

            3) No, those are non-subsidized prices.

            If a generation technology has lower output capacity then one installs more of it. Output capacity is not the important metric. Cost is. A MW of wind energy is half the cost of a MW of new nuclear energy. A MW of solar energy is a bit cheaper than a MW of new nuclear energy.

            Both wind/solar and nuclear need storage in order to be used in large amounts on the grid. Wind/solar might take a bit more but their lower costs more than covers the cost of additional storage.

            Japan has more than enough land to install the solar, geothermal, and on-/offshore wind they will use to replace nuclear.

            The EOS zinc-air batteries are rated for 10,000 cycles. That’s 27 years of daily 100% DoD cycling.

            Any other gaps in your knowledge base you’d care to share?

          • RuralGrubby

            Please provide your real world empirical data which substantiates your claims that:

            1) solar has replace 9GW of coal

            2) prices in the U.S. are not subsidized

            3) cost of wind (meaning rate being charged to the consumer) is less than nuclear, remember to include all of that back-up fossil fuel and added transmission lines needed to support renewables like wind and solar http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated

            4) that Japan has more than enough land to install all the solar and wind it needs. Geothermal was not included in the original argument.

            http://www.energytribune.com/72221/the-corruption-of-wind-energy#sthash.I3m7GQvB.mmZSsZbH.dpbs
            5) that storage like your zinc-air batteries are ready and available to counter the intermittent nature of wind and solar.

          • Bob_Wallace

            1) Read the article.

            2) The US subsidies renewables, fossil fuels and nuclear.

            10c/kWh for solar is a non-subsidized price. PPAs have been written for 5.7c and 6.9c prices, these include subsidies.

            3) “Annual wind power additions in the U.S. achieved record levels in 2012, while wind energy pricing is near an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

            Roughly 13.1 GW of new wind power capacity were connected to the U.S. grid in 2012, well above the previous high in 2009, and motivated by the scheduled expiration of federal tax incentives at the end of 2012. The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged $40/MWh for projects negotiating contracts 2011 and 2012, spurring demand for wind energy.”

            http://www.evwind.es/2013/08/07/price-of-wind-energy-in-the-u-s-near-all-time-low/34916

            $40/MWh, $0.04/kWh includes the federal subsidy. Adding back in the $0.022/kWh subsidy that makes the price of wind in the US $0.06c/kWh.

            That 6c includes not only the LCOE of wind generation, it also includes real estate costs, transmission costs, profits to the wind farm owners, taxes paid by the wind farms and all other operational expenses. It’s a “delivered to the door” cost of electricity from wind.

            All electricity generation requires backup. We do not charge nuclear or coal for the backup their plants need.

            4) “Potential for rooftop photovoltaics in Tokyo to replace nuclear capacity”, 300 square kilometres of suitable rooftop space in Tokyo could support 43.1 GW of PV to offset the demand currently filled by nuclear, alongside an existing 7.28 GW of pumped hydro storage available.”

            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/04/japanese-solar-industry-soaring/

            Japan has the potential to support at much as 0.3 billion kW of wind generation. 300 GW.

            http://www.maine-intl-consulting.com/resources/MIC+Japan+Wind+Power+August+2012+for+web.pdf

            5) “Eos Energy Storage this week launched its first pilot project with Con Edison. The pilot project will see Eos’s potentially disruptive energy storage technology used at Con Edison’s New York City facilities.”

            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/04/eos-energy-storage-launches-1st-pilot-project-with-con-edison/

            On Tuesday, Eos announced that it’s added national Italian utility Enel, French power and water giant GDF Suez, U.K.-based powerhouse National Grid, U.S. municipal
            utility Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), and Princeton, N.J.-based multifaceted energy company NRG Energy, to its “Genesis Program” list of utility partners.

            Under the program, which already counts New York utility Consolidated Edison as its first real-world demo partner,
            Eos will be working on “business case evaluation, product development and optimization, and pilot demonstration of Eos’ innovative battery technology,” according to Tuesday’s statement. Eos also announced it’s in a joint development agreement with BASF New Business GmbH, a unit of
            German chemical (and battery technology) giant BASF, to “enhance Eos’ battery technology and to support its Genesis program.”

            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/eos-goes-global-with-new-utility-scale-e

          • Graham Tea

            Rural Grubby, lets catch up in a few years. I know there will be even more renewable generation and even less fossil fuel generation.
            Looking forward to it.

          • RuralGrubby

            Excellent study on how much wind energy costs financially and to our environment-

            “Because wind is an intermittent source of electricity, it needs appropriate amounts of fossil-fueled capacity ready at all times to balance its large and rapid variations.
            Those primary fossil plants then operate less efficiently than if they were running full-time without wind, meaning that any savings of gas and coal or any reductions in emissions are much less than simple calculations would indicate, even if they are producing fewer kilowatt hours.”
            – See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/2013/01/wind-energy-15kwh/#more-23541

          • Bob_Wallace

            You do realize that we have to have “appropriate amounts of fossil-fueled capacity ready at all times” to fill in for when nuclear and coal plants go off line, don’t you?

            Please tell us that you know at least that much.

            Perhaps you realize that a large penetration by nuclear requires installing storage to make it work on the grid?

            Wind and solar will require storage for fill-in. Perhaps more than nuclear. But since their cost is considerably lower the additional cost of storage will still leave renewables cheaper than coal and nuclear.

          • RuralGrubby

            LOL!! you are actually admitting how the grid needs and appropriate amounts of fossil-fuel capacity to be ready at all time” but seem to think that it’s only needed for nuclear and coal plants (ignoring the fact that coal is a fossil fuel in itself). Meanwhile wind & solar only needs storage to counteract their fickle unreliable generation.

            Storage for nuclear, what kind of storage are talking about?? I believe you are getting mixed up again with storage and back-up just like you did with transmission failures or generation shut-downs and intermittency of wind & solar. You are also getting mixed up with the cost of purchasing units like turbines, panels and nuclear generators with the cost to the consumer for the electricity generated from these. $52.48/MWh for wind, $0.64/MWh for coal, $0.63/MWh for natural gas and oil, and $3.10/MWh for nuclear. Solar received $968/MWh. Hydro received $0.84/MWh.
            Can’t have a clear discussion when you muddying the waters like you are.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t laugh too much, you’ll pee your pants. Then you be both wrong and embarrassed.

            All generation needs backup and fill-in. Right now we use a lot of fossil fuel generation, natural gas turbines, because that is the cheapest and we don’t figure in environmental damage. We also use a lot of hydro, which we will continue to use.

            NG use won’t last. We will switch to one or several storage systems including pump-up hydro, CAES, isothermic, and battery systems.

            The US built 21 GW of pump-up and CAES storage when it was building nuclear. It was needed to move late night nuclear production to peak hour demand. Japan built even more.

            I dealt with your subsidy misinformation in another comment.

            “Can’t have a clear discussion when you muddying the waters like you are.”

            We aren’t having a discussion. You’re posting misinformation and I’m correcting you. If you want to have a discussion then start accessing trustworthy sites for your information.

            If you don’t know where to find accurate information, then ask. I’ll be glad to show you some trustworthy sites.

          • RuralGrubby

            Correcting me with lots of ad hominens, and attacks on my sources of information as well as making inappropriate comments on my ability to hold in my urine. WTH???

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh, come on.

            You show up and start posting a lot of crap and expected to be embraced warmly?

          • RuralGrubby

            Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2010

            $52.48/MWh for wind, $0.64/MWh for coal, $0.63/MWh for natural gas and oil, and $3.10/MWh for nuclear. Solar received $968/MWh. Hydro received $0.84/MWh.
            http://docs.wind-watch.org/US-subsidy-2010.pdf

          • Bob_Wallace

            First, that’s only direct subsidies. It does not include the expense of health and environmental damage caused by coal. Neither does it include the security cost of protecting nuclear facilities. And it doesn’t include the massive tax breaks given to oil as well as the trillions of dollars spent on three oil wars.

            Second, it’s only one year. Right now wind and solar are receiving more subsidies because that is what we are installing. If the two reactors now being built in Georgia come on line they will receive even more subsidies than do wind and solar.

            Over the life of nuclear it has received in excess of $500 billion in federal subsidies. Renewables have received well under $10 billion with most of that money going to corn farmers to support ethanol.

            You might want to question where you are getting your information, Grubby. Seems like your sources are feeding you a lot of misinformation.

          • RuralGrubby

            And what about your sources of information which are all sites that promote renewable energy. One shouldn’t question these sources??

            What about the expense of health for those who can no longer afford their energy costs and have to make choices between food and heat. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-s-nuclear-phase-out-brings-unexpected-costs-to-consumers-a-837007.html
            What about the fact that the effects from coal are clearly alleviated by using proper scrubbers, a much cheaper option than your so-called “renewables” and “storage”.

            Again, you are basing your opinion on a very big assumption: i.e. that things like wind and solar can actually replace the NEED for fossil fuels and nuclear. With well over 159,213 MW of wind installed in the world, wind energy represents less than 1% of the world’s energy demand. Give me a break!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germans spend about 2% of their household budgets on electricity. And having renewables on their grids has meant that their cost of electricity has risen less than the cost of fossil fuels have increased.

            Scrubbers do not remove CO2.

            At one time coal provided 0% of our electricity. Over time it grew to be our largest source before peaking and starting to fall away.

            Renewables only recently became “affordable” and they are installing at accelerating rates. Be patient, grasshopper.

          • RuralGrubby

            Many people still think that it will not be long before renewable energy such as solar and wind becomes outright cheaper than fossil fuels, thereby leading to a rapid expansion of the thin orange slither in the graph below. This is an ideologically very attractive notion, but, as discussed in this article, it is questionable whether this is in fact physically possible.

            http://theenergycollective.com/schalk-cloete/257351/fundamental-limitations-renewable-energy
            Keep drinking that green Koolaid Bob.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Many people still think that it will not be long before renewable energy
            such as solar and wind becomes outright cheaper than fossil fuels,
            thereby leading to a rapid expansion of the thin orange slither in the
            graph below.”

            Yep. That’s pretty much what is happening right now.

            Wind and solar are already cheaper than new coal, old coal with external costs included, and new nuclear.

            Wind is cheaper than many old, paid off nuclear plants. Wind is about neck and neck with natural gas with the price of NG on the rise.

            Seeing how it has already happened the issue of whether this is “physically possible” is a question that belongs back in history.

          • RuralGrubby

            Read the article Bob.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I read the article. I read it some time ago. It’s bogus.

            Just this statement alone should tell you to toss it in the trash.

            “Well, a recent test of lead acid and Li-ion batteries found that these technologies could store energy for about $0.34 and $0.40 per kWh over their respective lifetimes.”

            Pump-up is about 6c/kWh. Vanadium redox batteries are about 8c/kWh. EOS zinc-air are 10c/kWh. Even lead acid batteries are lower than that claim. Less than 20c/kWh.

            The Energy Collective posts a lot of crap. Not long ago they published a hit piece on solar arguing that solar was a bad idea because some people would cut down trees shading their roofs.

          • RuralGrubby

            The article was just posted yesterday Bob so I doubt if you read it some time ago.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m sorry. That was confusing. I should have said that I read it when you posted it.

            Look at the chart I’ve posted below. This is a price comparison for off-grid battery storage. Single residence scale.

            Utilities would be buying in massively larger amounts and get much better prices than an individual paying retail for a few batteries.

            Did you happen to notice that the article is written by someone involved in carbon capture? That’s the fossil fuel business. Give you any hint?

          • Graham Tea

            You still haven’t answered my question.

            How do you plan on solving increasing fuel costs and climate change without the use of renewables ?

            I’m all ears

          • RuralGrubby

            Simple, don’t use renewables like wind and solar.

    • Hydro Tasmania

      It’s removing the need to have diesel generator running permanently in the system that is the significant breakthrough. The duration isn’t the critical part of the achievement, it is the fact that the system is able to operate reliably and securely without a diesel generator in operation. In other systems similar to King Island operating on diesel fuel, the level of renewable energy penetration is limited by the need to always operate at least one diesel generator as backup. This is because that generator needs to be available to supply more power should the wind drop off, or a cloud shade the solar field. 

      90 minutes refers just to the longest uninterrupted period observed thus far and more than demonstrates that all the technical challenges have been met, and proves our concept. On a windier night, the period without diesel could extend to the entire night. The time operating the system without diesel will increase as we commission the energy storage and demand response systems.

      • barrie harrop

        Very good wondering about your cost per kwh?

      • RuralGrubby

        So running for 1.5 hrs exclusively on renewables is considered a breakthrough and not a clear sign of the unreliable & intermittent nature of wind or solar. Now that’s what I call ultimate marketing spin. And Oh! I forgot, all will be countered by “energy storage and demand response systems”, which Hydro Tasmania just launch out there as something that is technically already available and doable and of course available in the near future. Forget the fact that energy storage is nowhere near the technical requirements needed for a renewable system, nor do the demand response systems even come close to addressing how wind and solar are degrading the quality of electrical generation creating havoc for electronic equipment in high end manufacturing. Forget also that this is all being funded by ratepayers and taxpayers, which ends up pushing manufacturing out of the country due to the higher cost of electricity resulting from these kind of green schemes. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/medium-sized-german-companies-criticize-energy-tax-breaks-for-industry-a-863430.html

  • MoreBikesPlease

    Maybe the proposed 200-turbine wind farm could install one extra turbine to supply the local grid. Chicken feed for the big boys, but very significant for the locals. That would get them some goodwill…

    • Hydro Tasmania

      Essentially KIREIP is currently under construction and remains beneficial to the King Island power system and to the community irrespective of the outcome for the proposed TasWind development.

      TasWind is only at the feasibility stage and KIREIP will be completed by the end of 2013, delivering immediate benefits for system reliability and cost reduction. 

      At this stage there has been no assessment of whether it would be possible to integrate TasWind with the King Island power system. However, if TasWind can be effectively integrated into the King Island power system much of the enabling technology installed as part of the KIRIEP project would in all likelihood be necessary.

  • Peter Krajcik

    Hope the rest of the world will follow up asap as we are running out of time and continuing to release still more and more CO2 into our atmosphere is going to push us all over the tipping point. However we are headed the right way and Global clean energy investment hit a record $260 billion in 2011. That’s five times as much as 2004. The shift to clean energy is already happening. http://clmtr.lt/cb/vao08c

  • Pieter Siegers

    This is awesome and a big MESSAGE for the rest of the world to follow up! What are we waiting for?!?

  • RuralGrubby

    • Calamity_Jean

      This video appears to have been made in 2010 or 2011. Things have changed since then. Wind power and solar photovoltaic power are cheaper, batteries are cheaper and hold more energy, and the cost of all of these are expected to continue going down for at least the next five or ten years.

      At the same time, the price of coal in the developing world, and the price of oil everywhere are both going up, and are expected to continue increasing. Air pollution in China and India is terrible and the citizens of those countries want it improved. Renewables are now the fastest and cheapest way of improving living standards in the developing world.

  • Calamity_Jean

    If the King Island electrical system is running diesel generators in the daytime, they need more solar.