Renewable Energy FutureThe Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is helping to fund a hybrid renewable energy project on Lord Howe Island that will include energy storage.

ARENA will contribute $4.5 million in support for the 1 MW, $11.6 million wind, solar, storage and diesel hybrid system that will reduce the Island’s consumption of diesel by 70%.

“Lord Howe Island is 600 km off the east coast of Australia and, like other remote off-grid communities across the country, is heavily reliant on diesel generators that are costly to run and subject to volatile fuel prices,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknech.

“It is another significant project to come out of ARENA’s Regional Australia’s Renewables Initiative, which is focused on increasing the uptake of renewables in offgrid Australia.”

It’s been a long road to reach this point according to Lord Howe Island Board CEO Penny Holloway; who said said the community had been working towards a renewable energy future for more than ten years and ARENA’s support means it can now become a reality.

The Lord Howe Island Group is part of the state of New South Wales; administered by the Lord Howe Island Board.

NSW Environment and Heritage Minister Rob Stokes congratulated ARENA and the Lord Howe Island Board for their vision and commitment.

“Lord Howe Island was included on the World Heritage List because of its unique natural and heritage values and this initiative is a powerful way of protecting these into the future,” he said.

In other recent news from ARENA, the body announced it is also providing $500,000 to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) to support the execution of the first stage of a project to future-proof Australia’s energy system and improve the electricity grid to support the growth of clean energy.

The CEC  will be working with industry, government, regulators and consumers and commissioning various related analyses; with the first stage of the future proofing project due to be completed by the middle of next year.