Diffuse Energy, an Australian small wind turbine manufacturer, today announced it has secured a $922,307 project in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The project includes a $341,990 contribution from ARENA and will see the continued uptake of their innovative small wind turbine technology within the Australian remote telecommunications market.
Ten small wind turbines will be installed on a variety of remote telecommunications sites with a focus on securing 10 years of wind turbine operating data and comprehensive validation of Diffuse Energy technology in the Australian market. This will then be used as proof points for the global telecommunications market which is expected to spend more than US$3.4bn on distributed energy solutions by 2024.
Joss Kesby, Co-founder and CEO of Diffuse Energy said, “Telecommunication providers depend on secure and resilient energy generation in order to deliver essential communication services. The industry is also rapidly moving towards net zero carbon emissions creating a very strong demand for innovative, cost-effective renewable technologies.”
“A nationwide rollout of our wind turbine technology to these sites could displace 17 GWh and 33,000 tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuelled generation per year. Equivalent to $43.9 million in savings of diesel fuel, transportation costs, and generator maintenance.”
The project will support four full time jobs in regional NSW along with additional employment in domestic hardware manufacturing and electrical controller design.
Bringing together telecommunications partners Vertel, Connected Farms and the University of Newcastle, the project will showcase the impact that Australian research can have when translated into a commercial product.
Delivering energy resilience for telcos
The project expands on Diffuse Energy's track record for providing alternate energy sources in the telecommunications space. In 2018 Diffuse Energy was awarded a Jobs for NSW Minimum Viable Product grant (MVP) to manufacture and install their innovative wind turbine technology with commercial customer Vertel.
“The Australian telecommunication tower market is home to some 32,800 towers. Many off-grid sites rely on diesel supply and solar PV/battery systems. This fuel is costly and requires delivery via off-road 4WD with crews or even the use of helicopters. This creates a significant operational burden.” CEO Joss Kesby said.
“Tower operators are fast approaching the limits of renewable generation due to physical space constraints of solar PV. Recent events such as bushfires, flooding, and the coronavirus pandemic have exposed vulnerabilities in the energy supply for Australia’s telecommunications. The addition of an alternative energy generation will help alleviate these issues and reduce exposure to fuel supply risks.
For continued uptake of renewable energy, there is an urgent need to integrate complementary, alternative sources of renewable generation such as wind, to deliver risk mitigation and diversify the energy generation portfolio.
Grounded in cutting-edge Australian research
The innovative Diffuse Energy small wind turbine technology was invented by CEO, Dr Joss Kesby, while previously employed at the University of Newcastle, Australia building on +20 years of world leading research in the small scale wind energy field.
The high-efficiency technology sees the use of an “aerodynamic diffuser” that can produce up to twice the output of similarly sized small wind turbines. The IP was spun out during the CSIRO ON Accelerate program which saw the formal incorporation of Diffuse Energy. Diffuse Energy retains close ties to the University of Newcastle and is currently based at the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) Williamtown Hub, NSW.
In April 2020 Diffuse Energy received $400,000 of private investment from Shearwater Growth Equity to continue deployment into the telecommunications market. The customer base has since expanded to include telco carriers, asset owners, and adopters in the mining and agriculture sectors.
Diffuse Energy has an established track record of working with ARENA, including successfully completing the 2019 A-Lab’s program, and being selected as one of just five participants in the Innovation Bay/ARENA Renewable Energy Founders Forum held in August 2020.
Read the full announcement from Minister Angus Taylor's Office here.
Contact Joss Kesby (CEO) for media inquiries.