The Daintree Rainforest community has unveiled plans to establish Australia’s first solar to hydrogen-based microgrid.
Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, has recently announced a grant of $990,150 for the Daintree Renewable Energy Pty Ltd, to help establish the hydrogen-based microgrid.
Minister Taylor said the money has been allocated in this year’s budget under the government’s $50.4 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, and the grant should enable the 100 per cent renewable project to be ‘shovel ready’ within twelve months.
“Under the program, the government will support up to 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid communities to investigate whether establishing a microgrid is cost-effective, and whether existing off-grid capabilities can be upgraded with modern technology
“The proposed microgrid 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 microgrid.”
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.”
The Regional and Remote Communities Fund is part of the Federal Government’s $2 billion plan to deliver more affordable and reliable power to Australian families and businesses.
The Fund is intended to compliment the Australian Energy Market Commission’s review of the regulatory arrangements for microgrids, 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.