Australia to be powered by the World’s First Renewable Island Micro-grid

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Garden Island off the coast of Perth Western Australia will be powered by the world’s first renewable energy island micro-grid which would include wave energy, solar energy, and energy storage, which will also produce both power and desalinated water. The project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Wave energy developer, Carnegie Wave Energy Limited received $2.5 million from the Australian company arena to begin the design for the project.
A micro-grid is a discrete energy system made up of distributed energy sources that are capable of operating independently from the main power grid. Renewable micro-grids that combine multiple renewable energy generation sources (e.g. solar, wind and wave) have the advantages of the different renewable energy outlines at different times of day, and with different seasonal variation, to reduce the amount of energy storage and diesel generation required.
The Garden Island Project is said to begin before the end of 2016 and will be commissioned in the first half of 2017. It will involve the installation of a 2MW solar PV array, a 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system and control system both to be integrated with Carnegie’s CETO 6 technology and existing desalination plant. Designed to operate in “on-grid” mode in parallel with the Western Australian electricity network and in “islanded” mode, isolated from the grid, this Project will act as a template for remote islands and fringe of grid communities globally.
ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht spoke about the project’s long-term implications: ‘This project is a pure example of technology development; that given time, and with the right government support, emerging renewable energy technologies can progress along the innovation chain towards commercialization’.
He also added: “With limited land available, wave energy generation supported by a reliable micro-grid of battery storage and solar PV could be a better, cheaper, and more sustainable way to power remote coastal or island communities long-term, displacing their reliance on diesel fuel.
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