Hydro Tasmania's Linked In system integrates renewable and fossil fuel energy

Tasmania's electricity generation company Hydro Tasmania has devised a first its kind system that fully integrates renewable and fossil fuel energy.

The $46 million King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP) brings together a portfolio of new and existing technologies to increase renewable energy use on King Island and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It is also helping to constrain power prices on the island.

The first-stage system was officially opened today by the Federal minister for resources and energy Martin Ferguson. He was joined by the premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings and deputy premier Bryan Green.

The Linked In system features panel monitors that help seamless integration of energy from King Island's windmills, solar panels and diesel generators -- when the wind picks up, the diesel generators slow down and with the system fully operational, the generators would turn off completely.

According to project manager David Brown, Linked In would be Australia's first smart grid by next year.

The system would allow household appliances such as hot water cylinders to be turned off or down remotely, saving energy.