Distributed generation: study of alternative energy supply options for remote communities
The report examines the potential for small scale generation and energy management in five remote sites in South Canterbury. Technical information and economic costs and benefits for a variety of options in each location are presented.
The report illustrates that - with the right set of conditions - small scale generation can be a viable alternative option for lines companies in the following applications:
• It can replace an existing remote lines supply, particularly where:
o The line length is relatively long and dedicated to only one or two consumers;
o The line is due for upgrade or replacement;
o Demand on the line is highly seasonal in nature (such as a holiday home or woolshed);
o There is access to a high quality renewable resource; and
o The existing line is not capable of electricity export.
• It can improve the economic viability of an existing remote lines supply by providing an additional revenue stream. This is where the existing line provides access to an untapped high quality renewable resource and is capable of exporting electricity to the wider network.
• It can defer new investment in an existing remote line that needs upgrading, for example, if demand on the line is increasing. This is likely to be favoured where there is access to a high quality renewable resource.
• It can also defer new investment in parts of a rural network suffering unacceptable supply reliability due to seasonal demands.
Diesel only based systems are favoured in this application.