Arena backs hybrid RE plan

Energy Developments Limited (EDL) has secured A$18.5m ($17.3m) of support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) for its hybrid wind, solar and diesel project at Coober Pedy in South Australia.

The project, which takes a multi-technology approach to powering off-grid Australian communities, will see EDL integrate up to 2MW of PV, 3MW of wind and enabling technologies into its existing 3.9MW diesel station at Coober Pedy.

"These technologies have been successfully tried and tested by Hydro Tasmania at the Arena-supported King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project," said Arena CEO Ivor Frischknecht

"Further demonstration of these technologies is expected to reduce costs over time and improve opportunities for future deployment without subsidies."

The project, which will provide the town with 70% renewable energy over its lifetime, will include short-term storage, fast-start diesel engines and an advanced control system to enable smooth operation.

EDL intends to restructure its existing power purchase agreement (PPA) with the District Council of Coober Pedy, with a new 20-year deal, according to a company statement.

The project is now subject to a final investment decision by EDL, along with approvals and agreements. If approved, completion is anticipated in mid-2017.