An island of less than 2,000 inhabitants off the coast of Tasmania can now power itself for a prolonged period of time solely with renewable energy – the first time anywhere in Australia that a power grid of this scale is fed entirely by renewable sources. Thus concludes the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project, a bold initiative run and managed by Hydro Tasmania, the primary electricity provider in Tasmania. All told, King Island generates about 2.45 MW of wind energy, while the figure for solar power is decidedly lower. The island’s grid is also backed up by an energy storage system and an automated control system.
The $46 million endeavour is fully paid for by the federal Government, and promises to be an exemplar to other states who are looking to cut back on the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation.
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