Four remote communities in Queensland are set to benefit from $28 million for solar and battery storage projects aiming to reduce fossil fuel reliance and create more affordable energy for residents. 

The State Government has set aside the funds to take the four remote communities of Boulia, Burketown, Doomadgee and Windorah off expensive fossil-fuelled power. 

Announced at the Regional Community Forum in Boulia, the four projects will be delivered under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and installed by Ergon Energy, a government owned energy corporation, and are expected to deliver significant environmental benefits from reduced emissions. 

The projects will see solar generation and battery storage systems contributing renewable energy to the generation mix of the four power stations, supporting the reduction of diesel usage.

The four communities involved are set to save around $3 million per year by cutting 1.5 million litres of diesel and switching to using renewables such as solar and battery storage.

State Minister for Transport and Main Road, Mark Bailey, said that the community is set to benefit greatly from the new projects. 

“While these new solar farms might be small in size compared to the Queensland SuperGrid, the benefit of them to these remote communities is incredibly valuable.

“This program is proof that the State Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering opportunities and benefits of our clean energy transition to all Queenslanders, no matter where they live.

“This is great for the environment too, getting these isolated networks off millions of litres of diesel will help us to reduce electricity emissions by 96 per cent by 2040.”

In Doomadgee, Ergon Energy Network is planning to install 4.5MW of solar PV and 4MWh of energy storage, which is forecasted to save around 680,000L of diesel and $1.36 million per year. 

In Windorah, Ergon Energy Network is planning to install 850kW of solar PV and 1,000kWh of energy storage, which will save 150,000L of diesel and $300,000 each year.

Throughout Burketown, Ergon Energy Network is expected to install 1,200kW of solar PV and 1,000kWh of energy storage, which has a predicted saving of 270,000L of diesel and $540,000 per year.

In Boulia, a 1,700kW of solar PV will be installed and 1,500kWh of energy storage and has a forecasted saving of 360,000L of diesel and $720,000 each year

State Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said that the switch to renewable energy will cut the energy prices for residents. 

“The beauty of outback Queensland may be a world away from global events like the illegal war in Ukraine, but we cannot underestimate how much global price rises on fossil fuels are impacting them.

“Because Queenslanders keep their energy system in public hands, they can put the people of these remote communities first in our energy and climate transition, saving millions by switching to solar.

“By supporting more renewable energy and decreasing the reliance on diesel generation for these isolated communities, the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering clean, cheap, and secure energy for all Queenslanders,” Mr de Brenni said. 

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