Bruny Island is off the southeast coast of Tasmania, Australia. Its 140-square miles house a population of approximately 600 comfortably. Come tourist season and that number can grow to over 70,000, with some 21,000 visitors overnight-ing. The island relies on an underwater cable for electricity. The locals are wondering whether it is time to buy batteries to supplement supply.
TasNetworks Thinks it is Time to Buy Batteries Now
Electricity is expensive on Bruny, because they only have a few aging diesel generators to fall back on during peak times or when the grid fails. State-owned energy network TasNetworks is trialing solar panels and batteries to solve these shortfalls, since it believes is it time to buy batteries on Bruny.
The trial is relatively unique because the focus is on consumers, and their experiences of sharing what for many of them is new technology. Researchers are trying to understand this on the subjective level. They want to know “how participants feel about contributing to the electricity network to support their neighbors”.
How This Research Could Support the Green Energy Rollout
Many consumers who might benefit financially, are still holding back from implementing renewable energy in their homes. After two and a half years, senior innovation engineer Laura Jones is ready to begin the next round of interviews.
“We are about to start our next round of social science interviews,” she told website Arena Wire. “To capture customers’ thoughts, feelings, and actions now they have had their systems for a while.” Local resident John Kobylec says his feedback will be positive.
“We definitely got a lot more saving on our power bill,” he says. “But the good part of it really, is they’re using the power that’s been stored in our batteries to help the community of Bruny Island with their electricity. That saves the cost of having to fire up the diesel generators, which they had to do a lot because of the extra visitors we get here all the time.”
Preview Image: Isthmus Joining North and South Bruny
Video Share Link: https://youtu.be/bdJ11Plia40