Launch of Water and Renewable Energy Nexus could save Rottnest Island Authority thousands in savings and water


Ray Massie, Michelle Reynolds and Kirsty Gowans
Ray Massie, Michelle Reynolds and Kirsty Gowans

THE Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) could save $260,000 and 200,000 litres of water a year with a new system that produces clean energy from renewable sources on the island.

The system also allows the island to generate 45 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable resources, reducing its use of diesel fuel that is transported to Rottnest.

RIA chief executive Michelle Reynolds and project managers launched the Water and Renewable Energy Nexus project (WREN) today that involves the island’s solar farm, upgraded infrastructure at the power house, a wind turbine and desalination plant being managed by an advanced hybrid control system.

Representatives from Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solutions and ARENA, which partnered with the RIA on the project, also attended the launch as part of the International Isolated Power System Connect Conference being held on the island this week.

Ms Reynolds said Rottnest Island was an isolated community that relied on its own resources for the supply of energy and water for visitors.

“Careful management of the island’s resources and infrastructure is critical to ensuring Rottnest Island remains a self-funding and sustainable tourism destination,” she said.

Hydro Tasmania Hybrid Energy Solutions manager Ray Massie said the innovative part of the project was the “nexus” between renewable energy and water production.

“We’ve timed the large energy demands of the island’s water desalinisation plant to make the best use of abundant or excess renewable energy,” Mr Massie said.

ARENA Project Delivery general manager Kirsty Gowans said the island’s renewable power generation could be viewed in real time with a new Water and Renewable Energy Nexus project mobile phone app.

“The app is designed take you on a journey through the exciting renewable energy scheme that is making Rottnest Island more self-sufficient and sustainable.”

RIA, with Permeate Partners and Guidera O’Connor, recently won the Australian Water Association Infrastructure Project Innovation award for the island’s water treatment plant upgrade.

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