The Federal Government is supporting a world-leading renewable microgrid in Daintree, Queensland, that will incorporate an 8MW solar farm, 20MWh of battery storage, and a 1MW clean hydrogen plant.

The Federal Government has awarded Volt Advisory Group $18.75 million over three years to develop a highly innovative renewable energy microgrid for the Daintree region, supporting more than 200 jobs in Far North Queensland.

The grant is being delivered under the Daintree Microgrid Program, following a feasibility study completed under the $50 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.

In recognition that the Daintree rainforest is in the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland, the project aims to avoid disturbance in the area by deploying the microgrid along roadways and on previously cleared land.

Federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the Daintree Microgrid will ensure the Daintree community has a more affordable, more reliable, and a more resilient electricity supply.

“This is a major win for communities in the Daintree Rainforest, which will see reduced pollution and noise from diesel generators, and will be a valuable demonstration of solar to hydrogen technology,” Mr Taylor said. 

“The renewable and hydrogen microgrid will use cutting edge technology to reduce emissions and drive down costs by ending the community’s reliance on costly diesel generation.”

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Tim Wilson, said the microgrid would generate direct benefits for the Daintree community.

“Building this world-leading renewable microgrid is a giant leap forward in building Australia’s carbon neutral future. This renewable microgrid will deliver cheaper, reliable power and is an essential investment in the Daintree community,” Mr Wilson said.

“Once completed, the microgrid will displace more than 4 million litres of diesel fuel consumed in the Daintree each year. This highly innovative project demonstrates the public-private leadership required to get Australia to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“It also presents a significant opportunity to develop key learnings that can be applied as we pursue further microgrid options across Australia.”

Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said he was proud to have delivered this important project for the Daintree community.

“This project, which also includes the laying of new fibre-optic cables, will significantly improve communications in the region and will be welcome news for residents and business owners,” Mr Entsch said.

“Microgrid technology is becoming increasingly cost-effective, creating the opportunity for reliable, low-cost, off-grid power in communities like the Daintree.

“But more importantly, from an environmental aspect, it will remove the need to burn dirty and inefficient diesel in the Daintree, allowing residents to have access to a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable source of energy.”

Funding to develop the microgrid will continue the momentum generated to date and ensure that the Daintree community can access the benefits of renewable energy as quickly as possible.

The project will commence this year and the microgrid is due to begin operations by 2024.

Federal Governmentsupport for the Daintree microgrid builds on more than $100 million in funding the Government has already committed to support the investigation and deployment of microgrid technologies across regional and remote Australia.

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