Flinders’ renewable frontier

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The Flinders Island community can look forward to a secure and cleaner energy future thanks to its new Hybrid Energy Hub.

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PRESS RELEASE

The Flinders Island community can look forward to a secure and cleaner energy future thanks to its new Hybrid Energy Hub.

Officially launched today, the hub will transform the island’s power supply and provide another exceptional renewable showcase for remote communities around Australia and the world.

Flinders Island has historically been dependent on diesel generation. The hub technology will make it 60 per cent renewably-powered, on average, using wind and solar. When there’s enough wind and sunshine to do so, the island will be 100 per cent renewably-powered for considerable periods of time.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the result is less diesel usage, lower energy production costs, lower emissions, and a further boost for Flinders’ clean and sustainable reputation.

“This is Tasmanian innovation bringing clean energy to isolated communities,” Mr Davy said.

“The Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub gives islanders a secure and cleaner future – consistent with the community’s vision of becoming permanently 100 per cent renewable in the future.

“We take pride in supporting Tasmanian communities and a clean, sustainable energy future – both at a big-picture and grassroots level,” he said.

The Flinders Hub is able to harness more renewable energy from a 900 kilowatt (kW) wind turbine and 200 kW solar array by using unique enabling technologies and an advanced control system that will manage the fluctuating mix of wind, solar and diesel power in a stable, secure and reliable way – as proven in previous projects on King Island, at Coober Pedy, and on Rottnest Island.

The enabling technologies on Flinders include a 750 kilowatt / 266 kilowatt-hour battery, an 850 kilovolt-ampere flywheel, and a 1.5 megawatt dynamic resistor.

The $13.38 million Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project was made possible by support of $5.5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

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5 Comments
  1. juxx0r 2 years ago

    How many of these do you reckon they’ll need to do before they can aim a little bit higher than 60%? And how many of them will they need to do before they spend less than four times what it should cost. Also how many of them will they need to do before they realise that batteries are a better investment than resistors?

    It baffles me how they can think this a great achievement.

    Samoa must be laughing so hard that these clowns spend so much and achieve so little, when they just rang the experts and went straight to 100% renewable with solar and storage. For undoubtedly far less money.

    • Alex Hromas 2 years ago

      You forget that Tas Hydro are hard headed engineers not greenies. The diesel generators are already in place and reducing their utilization to somewhere around 40% of the time reduces maintenance costs dramatically. They are also probably fully depreciated so the incremental cost of using them is just fuel. Not sure why they went for the flywheel storage system rather than more battery probably the older engineers won out with the argument that you need rotational inertia in the system as there is little experience with using batteries to replace rotational inertia. Its a very good result and one that the Federal government should be trying to emulate at Lord Howe island instead of hindering.

      • juxx0r 2 years ago

        It’s not a good result, solar and four hours of storage could have got you to 60% for 10% of the price. It’s rubbish.

        • Alex Hromas 2 years ago

          Your reply is hard to follow. The proposed setup will reduce diesel fuel use by 60% i.e. the engines will only run about 49% of the time on current modeling. The problem is a common one across most branches of engineering it is cost effective to achieve a certain goal i.e. 60% reduction in fuel use. Once you attempt to go beyond this point the costs escalate quickly. I assume that Tas Hydro are well versed in this sort of analysis as they will be putting up the capital. I am intrigued by the use of a fly wheel as a short term energy storage device, increasing the battery capacity would probably be cheaper. I am not sure how you derive the 10% cost. If it is to reduce diesel use by another 60% then I am confident that your calculations are in error. Don’t forget that Frietenberg has already stopped funding to a similar scheme at Lord Howe by blocking ARENA funding so Tas Hydro will probably have to fund this on their own and have applied NPW analysis based on the cost reduction of distillate against capital costs not a straight “lets get rid of all fossil fuel”.
          Its a start and if successful can be augmented. Engineering like politics is the art of the possible

          • juxx0r 2 years ago

            Again, they spent $13.5M doing what solar and storage could have done for $2M.

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