A proposal for a major new renewable energy project on Lord Howe Island, about 600km east of Port Macquarie on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, is being pitched as a potential model for remote communities across the country. Plans have been drawn up for thousands of solar panels, two wind turbines and a battery system to be installed on the island. It is currently totally reliant on shipments of diesel from the mainland for electricity, consuming more than half a million litres each year.
The solar and wind system would produce roughly a megawatt of power, reducing the need for diesel by up to 70 per cent. Proponents say moving to renewable energy would reduce power costs, reduce the risk of environmental damage, and reduce the health impacts of burning diesel.
The project is being planned in two stages, with 2000 solar panels and the battery system comprising the first stage. Due to the island’s status as a World Heritage Area, the Federal Government is required to approve the project.