King Island’s Huxley Hill Wind Farm and Solar Farm
Client: Hydro Tasmania
Location: King Island, Australia
Date: 2021-2022, building on previous work on KIREIP between 2007 and 2014
Providing a modern, reliable and sustainable electricity supply for a remote island
The remote island community of King Island is not connected to a mainland electricity supply. Until the late 1990s, King Island was powered solely by diesel generation. By 2014, the generation mix incorporated wind, solar and other world-leading technologies to reduce dependence on diesel and achieve a reliable, integrated hybrid renewable energy power system able to power the island entirely from renewables when conditions allow. This project, the King Island Renewable Integration Project (KIREIP), was an initiative of Hydro Tasmania with funding assistance provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The system is capable of 100% renewable operation and was the first megawatt-class off-grid system with this capability in the world.
Entura worked closely with Hydro Tasmania to deliver specialist consulting services for KIREIP, playing a key role in designing and implementing the system. The advanced hybrid power system integrates renewable and innovative enabling technologies, including 2.45 MW of wind generation and 95 kW of solar PV, two 1 MVA flywheels, a 3 MW/1.5 MWh battery, a 1.5 MW dynamic resistor and an aggregated fast customer-demand-response system, all managed through an advanced hybrid control system.
Upgrades for Huxley Hill Wind Farm
Part of the King Island power system is the Huxley Hill Wind Farm, which includes three Nordex N29 250 kW wind turbines installed in 1998.
In 2021, Entura was engaged to conduct a feasibility study for redevelopment of the wind farm, as the three Nordex N29 250 kW wind turbines installed in 1998 had nearly reached end of life and two Vestas V52 850 kW wind turbines installed in 2003 were expected to reach end of life in 2028. We explored options for the power system to meet demand when the current equipment reaches end of life, and considered potential changes in demand.
We led the development of wind, solar PV and energy storage options to replace the current system, including techno-commercial modelling and a planning assessment.
To extend the life of the plant, in 2022 Hydro Tasmania embarked on replacing the nacelle of one of the wind turbines. Entura has managed the works on behalf of Hydro Tasmania including procuring the new nacelle, engaging contractors and coordinating activities including tower condition assessment and survey, and the installation contractor’s works.
Extending the Huxley Hill Solar Farm
In addition to the upgrades to the Huxley Hill Wind Farm, Hydro Tasmania is now developing a 1.5 MW solar PV plant in the vicinity of the current wind farm and power station. Entura has undertaken the project management and tender process for the King Island Huxley Hill Solar Farm on behalf of Hydro Tasmania, including answering technical enquiries from the contractor, arranging for design reviews, allocating responsibilities and coordinating interfaces between parties, scoping, designing and coordinating the high-voltage connection package, and monitoring the contractor’s performance.
The upgrades to Huxley Hill Wind Farm and extension of the Huxley Hill Solar Farm, for which construction is expected to begin in early 2023, will maintain the sustainability, security and reliability of King Island’s power system, enabling the island to continue its track record of greenhouse gas reduction and zero-diesel operation.