Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

With “too much” solar, Norfolk Island needs energy storage

Norfolk Island has “too much” solar, now it wants storage,REneweconomy, By  on 30 March 2017 Norfolk Island, the former penal colony and now tourist destination located nearly 1,500km off the east coast of Australia, is calling for proposals for energy storage to maximise its use of solar PV, minimise a growing “solar debt,” and cut its crippling electricity costs.

The island, with a population of around 1750, and a floating tourist population of 300-600 people, has one of the highest penetrations of rooftop PV, with 1.4MW of solar that produces more than its daytime demand.

This is despite the fact that the Norfolk Island regional council actually brought the installation of solar PV to a halt in 2013 with a moratorium designed to stop the “ad hoc” installations, and because it had no other means of controlling and managing the output.

Now, things have changed.

The cash-strapped administration wants to try and store the excess output of solar so it can reduce its reliance on diesel, cut its hefty electricity charge of 62c/kWh (unlike other islands, like King Island, it gets no subsidies), address the growing bank of “grid credits” given to those who produce excess power from their PV and perhaps allow more people who don’t have solar PV to add it to their rooftops.

Back in 1997, the council bought the last of its six second hand 1MW diesel generators, partly on the assumption that demand would grow. Instead it has fallen around 20 per cent, and it only ever uses two of the units at most, and outside peak times it uses only one.

The council says the oversupply of solar is occurring each day “at all times of the year and not only in summer” when the sun is out.

Because the diesel generator needs to operate at a minimum 30 per cent capacity, excess solar output is shed via a 400kW load bank. Excess solar did not get a cash tariff, but grid credits that are now amassing into a considerable continent liability.

“The fuel savings from less usage of diesel in the daytime have not been matched by actual savings as, effectively, those PV consumers (generating more than they or their fellow consumers are using during daylight hours) are resulting in the need for Norfolk Island Electricity (NIE) to shed the excess in daylight whilst then burning diesel at night time to supply both PV and non-PV connected households at no/limited cost to the PV consumer.”

So, now it is is looking for battery storage as part of a wholesale review of its pricing structures, and as the administration comes under pressure from households that have not been allowed to install solar PV, but can clearly see it as a cheaper option than the current grid prices…….http://reneweconomy.com.au/norfolk-island-much-solar-now-wants-storage-58159/

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March 31, 2017 - Posted by | Queensland, storage

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