Renewable Rottnest

Renewable Rottnest
20 September 2017

Until the late 1970s, diesel generation was virtually the only source of electricity on Rottnest Island. Experimental wind turbines began limiting diesel use, but it wasn’t until 2004 that a 600 kilowatt wind-diesel hybrid system was installed, generating about a third of Rottnest’s energy and saving about 400,000 litres of diesel each year.

Given the precious and delicate environmental values of Rottnest Island, its residents and visitors have desired a more comprehensively sustainable way to power its needs.

An answer to that vision is on its way via the Rottnest Island Water and Renewable Energy Nexus Project (WREN) implemented by Hydro Tasmania with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA).

Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solutions (HES) team are international leaders in helping remote island communities switch to reliable clean energy systems.

The team’s King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project on the remote Bass Strait island has already transformed it from 100 per cent reliant on diesel power to about 65 per cent renewably powered, and fully-renewable on occasions. A similar project is taking shape on neighbouring Flinders Island.

Now, using innovative renewable integration technology, Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solutions team is implementing a power system to make Rottnest Island 45% renewably-powered (factoring in current wind power component) with up to 90% instantaneous renewable contribution. 

600 kW Solar array on Rottnest Island

Hydro Tasmania have installed and integrated a 600 kilowatt (kW) solar array into the existing power system, which includes the existing 600 kW wind turbine, to boost and diversify the renewable energy capacity in the system.

Hydro Tasmania has installed its hybrid control system, along with enabling technology better manage the variable renewable generation and reduce diesel fuel consumption.

The hybrid control system co-ordinates the generation (wind, solar and low load diesels) with enabling technologies, including a dynamic resistor and demand management of the desalination plant.

By integrating renewable resources (solar and wind)  with the island’s desalination plant and water storage facilities, surplus renewable energy can be used to create clean drinking water. Effectively using stored water as a ‘water battery’.

The WREN project will deliver renewable electricity and clean water at a lower cost, with lower emissions.

An app called “Rottnest Island Water and renewable energy nexus” can be downloaded for both Apple and Android, providing real-time power usage, project information and educational materials. Visitors can use the app to learn more about sustainability on Rottnest Island and how they can make a sustainable difference.

The “Rottnest Island Water and renewable energy nexus” app showing 90% renewable energy

Hydro Tasmania is making a renewable difference on Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is on the verge of a clean energy future befitting of its naturally special past and present. The key moment arrives in November, when the switch will be flicked on a proud new chapter in Australia’s renewable energy transition.

Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solution’s team are actively implementing hybrid renewable energy projects around Australia. Please get in touch at to discover how we could work with you.


Released for Hydro Tasmania by Rowan Dix, (03) 62305330 / 0409 722359 /