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ARENA Project

Reliable and resilient wind energy for off-grid telecommunication towers

Nov 19, 2020 - Written by Samuel Evans

The need for resilient small-scale wind energy 

 

Telecommunication providers rely heavily on diesel generation to power their off-grid sites. These organisations are exposed to fuel cost fluctuations and unpredictable diesel transport costs. Natural disasters like bushfires and floods only compounds this problem further.
 
Barriers to adoption of renewable energy at remote sites must be overcome. Space constraints restrict the addition of more solar PV panels. Increasing battery capacity is not sustainable and only possible if there is a renewable supply available to charge them. There is a need for an alternative and complementary energy source.
 
Small-scale wind technology is the natural counterpart to solar PV and diesel. Wind technology has been investigated by telecommunications operators as a complementary energy source. Adopters have no clear path on how to best integrate wind generation into existing electrical systems and tower infrastructure.
 
Our world-leading small-scale wind turbine technology helps businesses wanting to increase renewable adoption. Diffuse Energy's innovative hardware service model reduces CAPEX, saves on diesel, and increases renewable output.
 
This project, in partnership with ARENA, will ensure rigorous validation for Australia’s telco sites. A nationwide rollout of our wind turbine technology can displace 17 GWh of fossil fuelled generation per year. This can save $43.9M in diesel fuel, transportation costs, and generator maintenance.

 

“Diffuse Energy’s micro wind technology offers a real unique opportunity for a renewable energy solution to reduce emissions for off-grid telecommunications, while also ensuring the resilience of these towers in being able to operate at critical times such as during bushfires." 

Darren Miller

CEO, ARENA

Commercial outcomes

Technical and commercial outcomes go hand-in-hand. Our project will provide verifiable data on the commercial benefits of small-scale wind to inform decision makers within the telecommunications industry. Outcomes include:

  • Installation of 10 Hyland 920 small-scale wind turbine units across Australian telco sites. Targeting a 20% - 50% reduction in diesel consumption, and 60-100% renewable penetration (site specific).

  • Field verification of turbine performance as per the international small wind turbine standard (IEC 61400.2).
  • Formation of an industry reference group, with quarterly meetings to communicate progress, lessons learnt, and any obstacles. Knowledge sharing activities will provide actionable data to our target industry.

Current status

This 18 month project has officially commenced as of Q4 2020. Diffuse Energy and project participants are finalising site locations and datalogging systems for deployment. Future updates will be provided here.

 

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