King Island Tasmania Gets A 200KW Wave Powered Clean Energy Generator.

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King Island is a remote island community and it’s not connected to a mainland electricity supply. Electricity on the island was generated entirely from diesel fuel, from the 6-megawatt (MW) power station; serving 12-gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual customer demand and peaking at 2.5 MW. So now Wave Swell Energy (WSE) has deployed its newest 200KW Wave Powered Clean Energy Generator by the coast of King Island, Tasmania. Along with Hydro Tasmania, WSE has connected its generator’s output to the local power grid.

The King Island Renewable Integration Project (KIREIP) was an initiative of Hydro Tasmania with the assistance of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), to develop a world-leading, hybrid off-grid power system to supply 65% of King Island’s energy needs using renewable energy. The system is capable of 100% renewable operation, the first megawatt-class off-grid system with this capability in the world.

The KIREIP aim was to allow the system to rely less on diesel generation and provide a reliable and stable electricity supply. As a result of increased renewable generation, there has been a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and it will assist in reducing the community service obligation subsidy in the longer term. 

The scope, which incorporates renewable energy development and existing dynamic resistor, low load diesel, and hybrid power system controller enabling technologies, includes:

Biodiesel: augmenting the existing diesel engine tanks and associated infrastructure to trial the use of biodiesel in the diesel generators.

Diesel uninterruptible power supply (D-UPS): installation of two auxiliary D-UPS diesel engines with flywheel, allowing 100% renewable energy contribution at times of high renewable energy production.

Battery energy storage system (BESS): has been installed to provide support to the network operating on 100% renewable energy; it will also store excess wind energy for later use.

Smart grid: Fast-acting demand-side management infrastructure and smart grid technology, in the way of an interconnected network of centrally controlled smart meters and smart switches has been deployed.

They developed an integrated solution using wind and solar generation supported by a range of innovative enabling technologies coordinated by their hybrid control system. The hybrid system includes a 3 MW/1.5 MWh battery and two 1 MVA flywheels that significantly aid system security and stability.

They developed the project concept, completed the specification and design of the enabling systems, and managed the development to ensure the timely and successful delivery of the $18 M project.

Several technologies were developed by Hydro Tasmania during the project. 

  • A fully automated hybrid power system controller 
  • The dynamic resistor technology
  • Aggregated demand management
  • The integration designs for the flywheels 
  • Batteries sourced from third-party suppliers.

King Island has a world-leading hybrid power system that provides a reliable and secure electricity supply using a high proportion of renewable energy (65% per annum). When conditions are suitable their hybrid power system delivers 100% of the island’s power from renewable sources, reducing diesel fuel costs.

KIREIP has been awarded the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) Innovation Award 2013 and the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award 2014.

Wave Swell Energy installed their unit at Grassy King Island on 10th January 2021. WSE 200 KW demonstration of its wave energy technology with the Uniwave200 device is significant. The unit is sitting on the seabed in its planned location, approximately 100 meters from shore in 5.75 meters of water depth. 

The $12 million unit was constructed in Launceston and extensively tested at the Australian Maritime College. It was towed across last year to King Island and placed in the rough waves off Grassy Harbour. The large unit can be made to generate five times the amount of energy and could be placed off any coastline, anywhere in the world.

King Island is the first remote island grid in the world to be powered with three separate renewables- waves, wind, and solar.

Stephanie Thornton from Australian Ocean Energy Group said that “This is really the first project that has successfully generated electricity for a customer and that goes to prove that ocean energy can work”

Krutika Surana

Krutika Surana is currently pursuing masters degree in mass communication and journalism from Amity University Mumbai. Her interests are Investigations, Reporting, Politics etc.

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