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Case Studies


Kangaroo Island Visible Solar Project

In October 2011, Regional Development Australia, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island was awarded $500,000 to support an innovative and visible demonstration of advanced solar power generation on the island. The funding was awarded by the South Australian Government as part of a broader package of Community Cabinet initiatives to accelerate economic development on Kangaroo Island.

 The project was implemented by:-

  • Regional Development Australia, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island
  • Kangaroo Island Council
  • Ingenero Pty Ltd
  • Nissan Fleet 

The project has delivered a 50 kilowatt, 4 dual-axis Solar Photovoltaic (PV) tracking system at the Airport and an electric vehicle network across the Island, comprising of six charging stations and three electric vehicles. Two of the electric vehicles will be available for hire by the general public and one retained for use by local council. An additional 14kW Solar PV system at the Council Chambers in Kingscote, also supports the charging of the electric vehicles on Kangaroo Island. The solar array at the Airport was commissioned in November 2013 and the project officially launched in February 2014.

The Kangaroo Island Council has released the following information

Project Information

Press Release

Sundrop Farms Solar Thermal Demonstration in Horticulture

In October 2011, Sundrop Farms Pty Ltd was awarded $345,000 to demonstrate the use of solar energy in horticulture. The grant represented 36% of the total project budget. The project employs unique hybridisation allowing the use of heat captured by solar thermal technology for three cascading purposes. The highest temperatures are used for power generation to meet the electricity needs of the greenhouse. The waste heat from the power generation is used to drive a thermal desalination process to provide water and the remaining heat used to warm the greenhouse.

The demonstration showcases sustainable horticulture in arid environments and took place at Sundrop Farm’s sea-water cooled greenhouse located near Port Augusta. Commissioning of the project was achieved in February 2012. Conclusions and learnings from twelve months of operating and monitoring the demonstration system, is available below.


Combined Bioenergy and Biochar Production Project

In January 2011, Clean Carbon Capture were awarded $274,000 to test the commercial viability of pyrolysis using organic feedstock; prepare a prospectus to facilitate investment into a commercial pyrolysis plant of around 2-3 MW; and prepare a Commonwealth funding bid to assist with the implementation of the pyrolysis plant. The public benefit from the application of the Government’s funds comes in the form of the opportunities for investors and secondary commercial adopters as well as the overall benefits for the State in having home-grown companies testing an innovative new product.

Summary report

Large Scale Logistics Management Field Trial Program

In September 2010, Syngas Limited and the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group (YPASG) were jointly awarded $300,000 toward completion of a large scale logistics management field trial program. The outputs of these field trials would provide input into downstream value adding opportunity assessments including production of power, production of transportation fuel (ultra clean diesel) and energy pellets. The material being collected was residual straw from cereal cropping in the area (wheat and barley) which is a significant renewable agriculture by-product in the state. The Field Trials tested different processes and pieces of equipment in residual straw biomass collection and densification for transport. The trial will established at field scale the cost of commercial scale collection, storage and transportation of excess residual straw. The work completed also investigated non-food biomass energy crops (as part of crop rotation) options. The program involved specialised equipment trials, business process mapping, data collection and analysis (i.e. time, product quality, and costs) and comparisons across various processes and equipment. This work was the first of its type in Australia and drew on past work completed in the USA, Europe and Canada.

The field trial on the Yorke Peninsula and Mid North was undertaken in December 2010. With additional work completed in Meningie and Swan Reach allowing access to specialised equipment. An assessment of the trial and analysis of the outcomes concluded in early 2011. A summary report was provided to RenewablesSA in November 2011. Discussions with parties interested in taking the Trial outcomes/findings further in terms of commercial project development are underway.

Logistics Management Field Trials - Final Report (November 2011) 

Web video of the outcomes of the Field Trials 


Feasibility Study into Biomass Energy - Kangaroo Island

In July 2011, RuralAus Investments was awarded $254,520 toward a pre-cursor study into biomass power generation. The study focussed on the opportunity to develop biomass based electricity generation using sawmill processing and plantation harvesting residues to reduce reliance on on-site diesel based generation. This assessment was to address the potential for up to10 megawatt plant to supply power to the local Kangaroo Island grid. The study specifically sought to address market failures associated with the lack of information in four areas: for consumers on Kangaroo Island about the costs and benefits of locally generated power; forestry operation owners on the value of forestry residues as a biomass feedstock; energy generation companies on biomass types, availability, handling costs and energy content to inform generation costs; and energy retailers on consumer willingness to pay for local energy generation.

Kangaroo Island Biomass Generation Plant pre-cursor study: Summary Report, October 2011

South Australian Mini Wind Trial

South Australia is poised to take its next step in renewable energy innovation with an Australian first mini wind turbine trial due to commence at the West Beach boating precinct at the end of October.

The 12 month trial will test four different mini wind turbines which differ in size, power output and design. The maximum power output for the turbines ranges from 1 kilowatt to 6 kilowatts. The power output of each of the turbines will be monitored for different wind speeds and directions over the course of the trial, providing comprehensive and objective data on energy production. The data will be publicly available through a dedicated website.

The trial will also measure and evaluate the energy produced by solar panels elsewhere in the West Beach precinct and will provide important information about how solar and wind energy may work together to provide renewable energy in a range of weather conditions.

The trial is an initiative of RenewablesSA and is being delivered in partnership with the West Beach Trust.

For further information:


Artist's Impression of Trial

Media Statement 23 August 2011

Mini Wind Turbines Selected for Trial in SA

Technology Demonstration and Use in Government Operations  

The application of many renewable technologies is still at an early stage. People and companies are often willing to commit but can be held back by lack of information on how technologies perform in the field. This is particularly true of decentralised technologies such as solar panels, micro wind turbines, solar thermal applications and co-generation.

The South Australian Government is committed to supporting roll-out of new technologies to bridge the gap by use on their own assets or by sponsoring their use by others.

The South Australian Government has been active in this space. Solar panels have been installed on public buildings and schools. Their installation is now a mandatory part of the project scope for all new Government buildings and major refurbishments of existing buildings.

The centrepiece of this program is the 1 MW solar installation at the Adelaide Showgrounds. At a cost of $8 million, this installation is one of the largest of its kind in Australia.

Solar Precinct North Terrace
Adelaide Showground
Adelaide Airport
SA Solar Schools Program
Solar Panels for Government Buildings


Private Investment

In September 2009, the South Australian Government participated in an inquiry into the approvals process for renewable energy by the Parliament of Victoria's Environment and Natural Resources Committee.Testimonials by several private companies with renewable energy investments in South Australia about their experiences about investment in the State and how South Australia's processes compared are contained in the Committee's full report.

More information about private investment in renewable energy in the State can be found at About South Australia, Existing Installations and News.





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