The Federal Government has invested more than $19 million in 17 microgrid projects designed to secure affordable and reliable energy to regional and Indigenous communities around Australia.
The investment was made available in grant funding under Round One of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, and will support feasibility studies into microgrids.
The successful projects are located across Australia from very remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia and Northern Territory to rural farming communities in Victoria.
The studies will look at whether establishing a microgrid, or upgrading existing off-grid technologies, would better meet the electricity supply needs of regional and remote communities.
Microgrids can help reduce electricity bills for regional and remote communities, as well as deliver benefits for the grid as a whole by saving hundreds of millions of dollars in network costs.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said Australia’s regional and remote communities need an affordable energy supply to ensure local businesses can grow and thrive.
“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 especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr McCormack said.
Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the grants were an important step towards unlocking investment in microgrids and improving the technologies that will ensure energy reliability and affordability in regional Australia.
“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 of innovative technologies or distributed energy resources, like solar and batteries, or reduce their reliance on costly diesel generation.
“Lower cost energy is crucial to creating jobs in regional communities.”
A large number of successful projects under Round One of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund will address energy supply in some of our most remote Indigenous communities.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Ken Wyatt, said Australia needed to look at new ways to ensure energy supply for remote communities.
“Living remotely means that there’s already increases in costs, which can slow and dampen economic opportunity. Ultimately, we want to see affordable and reliable energy for families and businesses in remote Australia,” Mr Wyatt said.
This is an important part of our commitment to creating jobs and driving economic growth in our regions.
A full list of successful projects under Round One is available here.