Cisco Australia has been working with Logica on a major upgrade to the communications network at Tasmania’s King Island power station. King Island is a small island approximately halfway between Tasmania and the Australian mainland and the upgrade is part of Hydro Tasmania’s AUD$46 million King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP).
KIREIP is a project which exists to create renewable energy generation and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. To achieve this, a portfolio of old, new and experimental products are brought together which will increase renewable energy use, deliver reduced carbon emissions, all the while maintaining the quality and reliability of the power supply on the island.
Cisco Connected Grid technology has been added to the portfolio of environmentally friendly products used in this initiative. The Cisco Connected Grid solution includes ruggedized routers and switches that are specifically designed to handle the most demanding energy utility environments.
This is a great step forward for sustainability on the (affectionately called) ‘Apple Isle’ as the project will see 65% of King Island’s energy needs now being supplied from a variety of renewable resources. This will be achieved through the utilisation of wind and solar energy, and by combining innovative storage technology and unique smart grid management systems. Within the project is a biodiesel trial, which if successful will see CO² emissions reduced by up to a staggering 95%!
Whilst the King Island project is still on-going, it is important that we look at the island as a microcosm for Australia and the rest of the world. If we can achieve nationwide statistics similar to the 65% of power coming from renewable sources on the island, there’s the potential to greatly improve the outlook of our nation significantly.