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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

15 April 2002

Commonwealth Backs Australian Innovation with $2.7 Million in Funding


Thirteen major renewable energy projects have been backed with $2.7 million in Commonwealth funding, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp announced today.

"The projects cover everything from a solar farm in outback New South Wales, to a biomass harvesting system in South Australia," Dr Kemp said.

"Renewable energy is a key element of the Commonwealth's climate change policy and these grants demonstrate the Government's determination to do what it can as part of the international effort to combat greenhouse."

Among the projects funded, is a new and innovative Australian technology which utilises flywheel energy storage and smart computer control gear to integrate renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines, into diesel power systems. The technology can be used to maximise the amount of renewable energy supplied to the grid and greatly reduce diesel usage.

"This system is currently being trialed with a wind/diesel generation system, however the technology has great potential to be used in conjunction with other renewable technologies, particularly in remote Australia communities," Dr Kemp said.

"This project is an excellent example of Australian innovation and know-how."

The 13 successful projects have been funded under Round 6 of the Commonwealth's Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program (RECP). RECP assists industry to maximise the commercialisation potential of home grown Australian renewable energy technologies.

Of the 13 projects funded, ten are specifically aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Australian renewable energy industry. One example of this is a $65,000 grant to the Australian Ecogeneration Association to produce a guide for local governments looking to develop renewable energy systems.

"Australia is among the world's leaders in the field of renewable energy and I have every confidence that the industry will continue to grow in leaps and bounds over the coming years," Dr Kemp said.

"These projects are an excellent example of the Commonwealth Government working with industry to build a strong renewable energy industry."

Media Contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400


FACT SHEET
COMMONWEALTH BACKS AUSTRALIAN INNOVATION
WITH $2.7 MILLION IN FUNDING


Commercialisation of Intelligent Power Systems ($1 million)
The Darwin based organisation Powercorp, will use their $1 million grant to develop and commercialise their Intelligent Power Systems (IPS). This innovative Australian technology uses flywheel energy storage and smart computer control gear to integrate renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines, into diesel power systems. The technology can be used to maximise the amount of renewable energy supplied to the grid and reduce diesel usage by as much as 60 per cent.

The main objective of this project is to take the know-how and experience gained from previous development work and replicate it commercially in other projects throughout Australia and overseas.

Auspine Biomass Project ($195,000)
Publicly listed forestry group Auspine Ltd is currently funding a study into a proposal to build Australia's largest biomass fuelled power station at Tarpeena near Mount Gambier in the South East of South Australia.

The project is expected to produce 60 megawatts of electricity, which is enough electricity to power 60,000 homes. The principal fuel source for the power station will be softwood plantation wastes. About 600,000 tonnes will be used each year. The ability to obtain a regular and uniform supply of biomass fuel is integral to the success of the project. Auspine will use the RECP 6 grant to assist with identification of the harvest and haulage technology required to efficiently collect and deliver biomass fuel to the Auspine plant.

200 kW micro solar turbine project ($640,000 grant)
Funding has also been allocated to support a joint venture between Australian Inland Energy and Water (AIEW) and Eco Turbo Pty Ltd and will incorporate a 350 square metre solar collector farm. The farm will comprise four solar powered turbines with a total installed capacity of 200 kilowatts of renewable energy, which is enough to power 200 homes.

Industry Development Projects

Commonwealth of Australia