Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

Hon Mike Nahan BEc MS PhD MLA

Hon Mike Nahan BEc MS PhD MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Energy; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Even more energy put into Rottnest's future

    18/11/2015 7:05 AM
    • $7.3m renewable energy project jointly funded by State and Federal governments
    • 600kW solar farm for Rottnest to save hundreds of thousands in diesel costs
    • Renewable energy sources on the island set to increase from 30% to 45% 

    After months of negotiation, a landmark new State-Federal agreement will see renewable energy on Rottnest Island increase to 45 per cent.


    Tourism Minister Kim Hames and Energy Minister Mike Nahan said WA Government support for the project, through the Rottnest Island Authority and Synergy, was part of the partnership arrangement with Hydro Tasmania and the Federal Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).


    "Under the partnership, a solar farm will be constructed near the airport on Rottnest Island to work in conjunction with the existing wind turbine as part of a networked renewable energy system," Dr Hames said.


    "The project represents significant progress towards the island's long-term environmental and commercial sustainability and the critical thinking behind the Rottnest Island Management Plan 2014-2019."


    Dr Hames said the project, expected to be in operation by late 2016, was an important complement to the wind turbine which was commissioned in 2004 and which supplied about 30 per cent of the island's power requirements.


    "The limitation of wind turbines is of course the dependence on windy conditions.  A solar farm will deliver power from sunlight regardless of how blustery or still the conditions," he said.


    Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the effective use of excess renewable energy to manage the cost of producing desalinated fresh water also held potential for island and off-grid communities throughout the world.


    "The wind and solar energy on the island will be integrated with diesel-generated power using smart control systems, energy efficiency measures and demand management, allowing the island's water desalination plant to run when conditions are optimum," Dr Nahan said.


    "Since 2005, Rottnest has saved enough energy to support about 780 typical four-person households in Australia and the island has saved enough water to fill 44 Olympic-sized swimming pools."


    The announcement coincides with the Global Eco-Asia Pacific Tourism Conference, being held on Rottnest Island from November 17-19.  Keynote speakers and delegates at the conference represent eco-tourism businesses from around the region and the world.


    Fact File

    • Project supported by $2.5m in State Govt investment and $4.8m funded by ARENA
    • Renewable energy from its wind turbine generator currently saves Rottnest Island about $500,000 per annum or 30% in fossil fuel consumption
    • Energy production on the island is about four times more expensive than on the mainland.  A significant amount of power generated is required for the island's desalination plant which supplies about 80% of fresh water supplies
    • For more information, visit http://www.rottnestisland.com 

    Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300

    Energy Minister's office - 6552 5700