Positive community response to Daintree power funds


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Warren Entsch and Angus Taylor with Daintree local Betty Hinton, the acclaimed artist and owner of Floraville Ice Cream Factory. Image: supplied.

The Federal Government’s decision to help the Daintree Rainforest community establish Australia’s first solar to hydrogen-based micro grid has been well received in the Daintree.

The decision was made at a media conference in the Daintree on Monday, where 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.

Mr Taylor said the money had been allocated in this year’s budget under the government’s $50.4 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.

“This is excellent news and the money for the Daintree energy project will allow us to move to the next stage of the project including costings and the tendering process to make the project shovel ready,” said Russell O’Doherty, president of Daintree Renewable Energy Inc.

“The next stage of the project should take about nine months to complete. This project will allow businesses to get rid of hundreds of polluting diesel generators, and take away the need to bring up to four million litres of fuel over the Daintree River every year just to run generators.”

“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 four 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.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu and Councillors Michael Kerr, Abigail Noli and Roy Zammataro attended the media conference.

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