The Bass Straight community of Flinders Island said two major projects to deliver clean water and electricity to residents represent the future for remote settlements
Across 18 months, $25 million will be spent; half on a renewable energy scheme, and half on potable water for the main towns of Whitemark and Lady Barron.
The renewable energy facilities will be delivered by Hydro Tasmania, integrating existing wind power with a new generator, solar panels at the airport and a new solar field around the power station.
Project manager Simon Gamble said the system was replacing up to 65 per cent of the diesel previously used on the island, and he expected renewable energy from the system to ultimately be exported to the grid.
“This is the deployment model that we’re looking to take to the rest of the world, so Flinders is vitally important,” Mr Gamble said.
A similar system on nearby King Island had attracted a lot of international interest, with delegations from China and Pacific nations inspecting it along with representatives of most mainland Australian utility companies.
Flinders Mayor Carol Cox said replacing old fossil fuel power stations with a new lower carbon energy sources was a global aim.
Ms Cox said it was the third time the council had tried to get a reliable renewable electricity system, and the funding commitment would make Flinders Island the benchmark for remote communities.
“My understanding is that the development [Hydro Tasmania] has done on King Island will be scaled down and put into shipping containers,” she said, as reported by ABC Rural.
“They will be brought over and plugged into our current diesel power station. That will then enable the use of all the renewable energy that we can produce, which isn’t the case at the moment.
“There’s a lot of renewable energy being produced that’s going to waste.”
Ms Cox said existing wind power would be integrated with a new wind energy generator, solar energy panels at the airport and a new solar energy field around the power station.