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Gulf & Peninsula

5 December, 2020

Microgrid studies for remote communities

Communities across Cape York and the Torres Strait could benefit from more secure, affordable and reliable energy with the second round of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund being announced.

By Rhys Thomas

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch with Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor after they announced round one of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability fund last year

Communities across Cape York and the Torres Strait could benefit from more secure, affordable and reliable energy with the second round of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund being announced.

The second round opens on Wednesday 16 December with successful projects getting to chance to share in a $25 million pool.

The program aims to fund feasibility studies that will examine the electrical supply needs of regional and remote communities and decide whether establishing a microgrid or upgrading existing off-grid technologies is more suitable.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said that the Daintree community is well-advanced in establishing a microgrid in the region after receiving funding in the first round of the program.

“We need to be looking at options that will help lower cost of living pressures on families and businesses in not only the cities but in the regions as well as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Microgrids can help reduce electricity bills for regional and remote communities and deliver benefits for the grid as a whole by saving hundreds of millions of dollars in network costs.”

Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said feasibility studies are the first step to unlocking investment in microgrids, and their benefits for individual communities and the grid as a whole.

“Microgrid technology is becoming increasingly cost effective, creating the opportunity for a reliable, low cost, off-grid supply to our regional communities and industries,” Mr Taylor said.

“This funding will enable many communities to realise the potential to harness innovative technologies or distributed energy resources, like solar and batteries, or reduce their reliance on costly diesel generation.

“This is an important part of our commitment to creating jobs and driving economic growth in our regions.

Applications for round two of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability fund close on 27 January 2021, visit business.gov.au/microgrids for details on how to apply and for further information.


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