Coober Pedy diesel genset station to go hybrid

Coober Pedy mine
Coober Pedy mine

A diesel hybrid project in the South Australian mining town of Coober Pedy will proceed after receiving $18.4 million in funding.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced it will finance the off-grid scheme, which has been developed by Energy Developments Limited (EDL).

The Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Power Project is being developed by off-grid power provider Energy Developments Ltd (EDL). When completed, the installation will combine power generation from diesel gensets with solar and wind.

The existing 3.9MW diesel genset power station is to be upgraded in order to integrate a 1MW solar array as well as 4MW of wind power.

In addition, EDL has now ordered a 1MW containerised battery energy storage system (BESS) from Toshiba for integration into the project. According to Toshiba, the BESS will provide contingency support to maintain power system frequency stability when the gensets are not operating, and may also provide energy storage or load on demand when the gensets are in ‘droop’ mode. The BESS may also be used to allow possible block shifting of excess renewable energy, the firm said.

Toshiba noted it is using this order to promote its BESS system for use in off-grid and microgrid applications.

The project has a 20-year projected lifespan, during which time it is expected to generate up to 70 per cent of the town’s power.

Similar hybrid projects have been completed or planned for other remote locations such as Rottnest Island in Western Australia, and King and Flinders Islands in Tasmania.