The $25.6 million in funding is seeking to find ways to secure reliable and preferably renewably generated electricity for regional and rural communities, some of which still rely on diesel generators. The microgrid projects supported through the second round of funding from the federal government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund are spread across Australian states.
A project on the New South Wales South Coast, a region ravaged by the 2020 bushfires, attracted one of the highest proportions of the funding ($3.1 million). The project is being led by the Australian National University and is seeking to establish ‘islandable’ microgrids which could maintain power supply in townships even if connection infrastructure to the broader grid is damaged by bushfires, as it was last year.
Several projects looking to source renewably generated electricity for remote Indigenous communities have also receive grant funding, including Ener-G Management Group’s Napranum & Muralug Microgrid projects in Queensland, Generators and Off-Grid Energy’s microgrids at Indigenous outstations in the Kimberley of Western Australia, and Original Power’s Borroloola project in the Northern Territory.
Federal energy minister, Angus Taylor, said the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund will provide around $45 million for feasibility studies in over 110 communities across Australia, with a further $50 to be administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support microgrid pilot studies in regional communities.
A full list of the funded projects can be found here.
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