HYDRO Tasmania will soon start work on developing a ‘‘Hybrid Energy Hub’’ on Flinders Island that will significantly increase renewable energy use and reduce the use and importation of diesel on the northern Tasmanian island.

The innovative project will see the majority of Flinders Island’s energy needs supplied by renewable energy within two years, cutting energy expenses significantly.

Project director Simon Gamble said like many remote or island locations, Flinders Island was heavily reliant on expensive diesel fuel for its electricity.

Schematic representation of the Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub

Schematic representation of the Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub – Source: Hydro Tasmania

“Diesel fuel remains the single largest expense in these remote systems and using renewable energy makes good
economic sense,” Mr Gamble said.

Development of the Hybrid Energy Hub follows the success of the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP), which has seen King Island’s energy needs supplied solely from renewables when conditions allow.

The hybrid power system is comprised of wind, solar, battery storage, flywheels, dynamic resistor technology, dynamic load control and the use of biofuels.

“This combination of technologies means KIRIEP can securely and reliably generate power for King Island, even during lulls in the wind or when the sun isn’t shining.

When conditions are right, KIREIP delivers 100 per cent of King Island’s power from renewable sources, reducing the cost of providing electricity to the island,” Mr Gamble said.

Supported by up to $5.5 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the $12.88 million Flinders Island project is the next step in off-grid hybrid system development.

It involves integration of wind and solar generation with the existing diesel power station, and installation of enabling
technology, such as flywheel and battery energy storage, in a form designed to drive down the costs.

Hydro Tasmania has worked with Tasmanian manufacturers to develop a series of modular units to house and ship the enabling technologies essential to the energy solution.

This innovation will be developed and tested for the first time through the Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project, which is due for completion in November 2016.