In 2012, the Lord Howe Island Board (the Board) adopted the Lord Howe Island Renewable Operations – Energy Supply Road-Map (the Road Map), to reduce the Island’s reliance on diesel fuel for electricity generation.
The Road Map was developed with the important assistance of community based Sustainable Energy Working Group (SEWG).
The Road Map set the ambitious target for the island of 63% renewable energy by 2017.
Funding for the project is provided through a $4 million grant from the Federal Government via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), a $5.6 million loan from NSW Treasury (to be paid back via diesel fuel savings), and $0.5 million from the Board.
With funding secured, work has continued on the next phase of the implementation of the Road Map.
Consultants Jacobs have been engaged by the Board since 2014 to lead the technical elements of the project, and community consultation. Jacobs most recent work, a Technical Feasibility Study (23 December 2015), has examined the mix of solar panels, batteries and wind turbines. The study has shown that using 450 kW of solar panels (around 2,000 panels), a 400kWh battery and two small 275kW wind turbines, will reduce the Island’s diesel fuel consumption from 518,000 litres per year to around 180,000 litres per year, a 66% reduction. This combination also provides 67% of the Island’s annual electricity needs, exceeding the target set in the Road Map.
As part of the development of the project, specialist studies have been completed for:
- Background noise levels on the Island and predicted noise levels from the solar panels and wind turbines
- Large forest bats and potential impacts from the turbines
- Flesh-footed shearwater birds and potential impacts from the turbines
The solar panel, battery and control components of the project have been approved by the Board. Planning is underway to seek quotes for this element of the project before the middle of 2016, with construction to commence late in 2016.
Whilst there is a clear solution to achieve the Road Map target for renewable energy, there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed before the full project is able to be considered. These include:
- Wind turbine impacts on birds
- Noise generated from the wind turbines
- Visual impact of the wind turbines
- Wind turbine impacts on Airservices Australia infrastructure
The Board is progressively addressing the concerns, and aims to submit a Development Application for the wind turbines around the middle of 2016.
LHI Energy Supply Road Map PDF 1.99 MB
Renewable Energy Project Fact Sheets
Postcard - December 2014 PDF 983 KB
Postcard - September 2015 PDF 163 KB
Postcard - February 2016 PDF 1.2 MB
Display Poster - February 2016 PDF 531 KB
Postcard - May 2016 PDF 861 KB
Q & A - May 2016 PDF 869 KB
Project Update - August 2016 PDF 365 KB
Noise Talks Poster PDF 260 KB
Project Update - August 2016 PDF 362 KB
Tell Us What You Think PDF 2.4 MB
Q & A - September 2016 PDF 960 KB
The Board has setup a Facebook page for the Island’s Renewable Energy Project to improve the communication with the Island and wider community, during this pre-construction phase and also for the operational period. Please like the page at: