King Island power station upgrades communications 

Hydro Tasmania’s $46 million King Island renewable energy integration project (KIREIP), due for completion by mid-2013, has upgraded its communications network.

The King Island project will see 65 per cent of the island’s energy needs supplied from renewable sources. It will combine wind, solar, storage technology and smart grid management systems while also trialling biodiesel. If the biodiesel trial is successful, CO2 emissions will be reduced by up to 95 per cent.

IT and business services provider Logica Australia partnered with Cisco to supply the communications network.

Hydro Tasmania project manager David Brown said the two companies were chosen because they “offered a robust, state-of-the-art, reliable communications system for a very complex power station operating in harsh environmental conditions, combined with a good commercial outcome”.

“They helped us deliver a key aspect of the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project,” Mr Brown said.

As part of the communications network upgrade, Logica installed 13 Cisco 2520 Connected Grid switches and two Cisco 2010 Connected Grid routers, which are specially designed for use in transmission and distribution power substations. Electrical contractors replaced copper wire with fibre optic cabling. Network routers and switches have recently been tested and installed.

“We’re helping Hydro Tasmania integrate new technologies into their network, with the intelligence needed to provide a reliable, stable and renewable electricity supply. Logica is pleased to have partnered with Cisco to deliver a highly secure network that enables two-way communication for substation automation,” Logica project manager Wayne Usher said.

Cisco Australia and New Zealand partner business group director Sara Adams said the company was proud of its successful implementation of its network at Hydro Tasmania’s King Island power station.

“Purpose-built for utility substations to improve grid reliability and cost savings, the solution is highly secure and compliant with regulatory mandates and industry standards such as IEC 61850 and IEEE 1613,” Ms Adams said.

KIREIP is being developed with the assistance of the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Demonstration Program, the Tasmanian Government and project partners.