Progress continues on the ARENA-backed development of a hybrid wind, solar and storage microgrid to power the remote South Australian mining town of Coober Pedy, with the announcement this week that global wind turbine maker, Senvion, will supply the turbines for the project.
The project, which has been in the works since 2014, is being developed by Queensland-based Energy Developments (EDL), with the help of an $18.4 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The off-grid project aims to take Coober Pedy – a town of about 3,500 people that is known as the opal capital of the world – to 70 per cent renewables, and 100 per cent under favourable conditions.
Senvion’s contribution to the project will be two MM92 turbines from the company’s 2MW portfolio, to complement a combination of solar and battery storage that will replace the 3.9MW diesel powered generator the town currently relies on.
To date, Senvion has installed 215 wind turbines from its 2MW series in Australia, but the Coober Pedy project will mark the company’s first time delivering an off-grid project.
“Wind energy can play a very important role in helping remote communities and industries reduce their reliance on expensive fuels,” said Senvion Australia managing director Chris Judd in a statement on Tuesday.
“This pioneering micro-grid project will demonstrate what can be achieved in remote applications – not just in Australia, but also the rest of the world.”
Also working on the project is Hydro Tasmania, who were engaged by EDL in May. Under the contract, HydroTas will supply EDL with its proprietary enabling technology, used in the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project, including control, load management and storage systems.
“This is a next-generation off-grid project, taking advantage of advanced renewable and enabling technologies that have already been successfully trialled at off-grid locations such as King Island,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frishknecht.