Micro-grid grant signed, sealed & delivered
The driving force behind a renewable and totally green micro-grid project in the Daintree believes a change in elected Council officials will allow for a smoother process.
The president of Daintree Renewable Energy (DRE), Russell O’Doherty, who last week signed off on a Federal Government grant of $990,150 towards a feasibility study to take the 100 per cent renewable micro-grid project to ‘shovel-ready’ status within 12 months, said a new-look Council would be a significant shot in the arm for a project that began 17 years ago.
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Local government elections across Queensland are scheduled to be held on Saturday, 28 March 2020.
“I have never been more excited. We can now begin work on the study which will be presented on 31 July 2020 and then go to tender.
“And although the state government and the Douglas Shire Council cannot hold it back, it would still be advantageous if we had their support,” said O’Doherty following a meeting in the Daintree last night.
Mayor Julia Leu and Councillor Michael Kerr were the only elected officials to attend – Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch represented the coalition – while Councillors David Carey, Abigail Noli and Roy Zammataro were absent.
“Councillors Carey and Noli did send apologies. Councillor Zammataro did not respond to our invitation which was extremely disappointing.
“I understand everyone has commitments, but what we have been striving for in the Daintree is of major significance and we need all the support we can muster, in particular from our local government representatives,” said O’Doherty.
The Australian Government, meanwhile, is delivering on its commitment to improving energy security, reliability and affordability for households and businesses in the Daintree.
The feasibility study is being supported via the federal government’s $50 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund announced in this year’s budget.
Entsch said the proposed micro-grid would reduce the World Heritage area’s reliance on four million litres of diesel fuel per year to generate power.
Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the Daintree micro-grid feasibility study was the first to receive support from the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.
“Micro-grid technology is becoming increasingly cost effective, creating the opportunity for a reliable, low cost, off-grid supply,” said Taylor.
O’Doherty, who will oversee the project, said as it is a pilot program, its progress would be viewed with interest by private companies.
“I would also like to thank Richard Schoenemann and his team as well as Phil Keoghan and Shaun Cross from Volt Advisory services who have continued to work with and support us and to make the next stage possible.
“I now hope that the Queensland Government and the Douglas Shire Council will support the Daintree community, and work with us to help make this exciting project a success.”
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