Daintree to be home to Australia's first power microgrid
Power in the Daintree has taken a significant step forward with the announcement today that the Federal Government will help the Daintree Rainforest community establish Australia’s first solar to hydrogen-based micro grid.
At a media conference in the Daintree, Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced a grant of $990,150 for Daintree Renewable Energy Pty Ltd to take the 100 per cent renewable project to ‘shovel ready’ within 12 months.
He said the money has been allocated in this year’s budget under the government’s $50.4 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.
“Under the program, the government will support up to 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid communities to investigate whether establishing a micro grid is cost-effective, and whether existing off-grid capabilities can be upgraded with modern technology,” Mr Taylor said.
The proposed micro grid will store energy generated by new and existing solar panels by converting it to hydrogen, generating reliable power and reducing the World Heritage Area’s reliance on diesel fuel to generate power, with consumption currently estimated at around 4 million litres of diesel per annum.
“The grant will also support investigation of new ownership and funding models for the deployment of the Daintree micro grid.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he gave the Daintree community a firm commitment he would help them find a solution to their power needs.
“This is absolutely fantastic news for the environmentally-conscious Daintree community,” Mr Entsch said.
“Far North Queenslanders, especially those living in the Daintree, are extremely passionate about their natural environment and this announcement is a big win for the entire region.
“This is about listening, acting and delivering for the Daintree community.”
Mr Entsch said the Regional and Remote Communities Fund was part of the Federal Government’s $2 billion plan to deliver more affordable and reliable power to Australian families and businesses.
“The Fund complements the Australian Energy Market Commission’s review of the regulatory arrangements for micro grids which was initiated by the government in August 2018.
“Moving some remote customers to off-grid supply is expected to save hundreds of millions of dollars in network costs and reduce bushfire risks, while delivering more affordable and reliable power for regional and remote communities.”
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