The Federal Government will open Round Two of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund on 16 December, with successful projects set to share up to $25 million in grants.
Projects across Australia from very remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory to rural farming communities in Victoria are eligible to apply.
The program will help fund feasibility studies that 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.
Feasibility studies are the first step to unlocking investment in microgrids and exploring how they benefit individual communities and the grid as a whole.
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.
Microgrids can also help regional communities to realise the potential of innovative technologies or distributed energy resources, like solar and batteries, to reduce their reliance on costly diesel generation.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the Government was committed to meeting the unique energy needs of regional and remote communities.
“Geography shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing reliable and affordable power. We’re working to keep the lights on in every Australian household and business, no matter the location”, Mr Taylor said.
“Delivering affordable and reliable power to regional and remote parts of the country will help lower cost of living pressures on families and ensure local businesses can grow and thrive, which means more jobs and more economic activity.”
The Government launched the $50.4 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund in 2019 to help regional and remote communities access cheaper and more reliable power through microgrids.
Earlier in 2020, 17 microgrid projects shared in over $19 million in grant funding under Round One of the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.
Applications for Round Two close on 27 January 2021.
Visit business.gov.au/microgrids for details on how to apply.