The hybrid renewable energy project – including more than 1.2 MW solar PV array, an integrated control system and over 3.7 MWh of battery storage – is now complete. The project was constructed in 2020 and reached completion in April 2021.
The design is expected to supply at least two-thirds of the electricity needs of the Lord Howe Island community each year. This equates to at least a 67% reduction in diesel fuel consumption – a saving of around 360,000 litres of diesel a year. This system will significantly reduce the Island’s reliance on shipped-in diesel resulting in improved energy security, insulation from global oil price shocks and a less carbon intensive method of electricity generation.
Funding for the $11.1 million project was secured through a $4.5 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and a $5.9 million loan from the New South Wales Government (to be paid back via diesel fuel savings), with the balance of funds contributed by the Lord Howe Island Board.
The partnership with ARENA means that knowledge about the Island’s hybrid renewable energy microgrid will be shared to the benefit of other remote communities in the future.
A real time generation dashboard provides a live snapshot of the hybrid renewable energy system in action. These dashboards are located outside the post office and inside the museum, or can be viewed remotely here.