THE goal of supplying reliable and affordable power to regional and remote communities is being supported $25.6 million in federal government funding to back 20 microgrid feasibility studies, including two projects spread across three sites in the Eyre Peninsula electorate of Grey.
This funding includes just over $1m for the Fringe of Gold Futures projects at Koonibba and Kimba, enabling a feasibility study into the transition into renewable energy microgrids in the region to provide more reliable, secure and affordable power.
The second project in Grey is $1.35m for the Sustainable Microgrid at Arkaroola and Outback Energy Technology Showcase project, which will design and test the feasibility of options for achieving sustainable energy and water for Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said affordable and reliable electricity was the lifeblood of regional and remote Australian communities and he welcomed the commitment.
"Our government is focused on assisting the development of new technologies and it is significant that, within Grey, three different sites with quite different challenges are targeted," he said.
"Kooniba is a small aboriginal community to the west of Ceduna and Kimba is more typical of regional farming based towns - both are connected to the grid.
"Arkaroola is an isolated remote operation and offers a completely different set of challenges in that it generates all of its own electricity and needs to source all of its water requirements locally.
"They are an interesting mix and the resultant conclusions will help develop both technologies and guide future policy."
Through the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, the government is providing about $45m for feasibility studies in more than 110 communities across Australia.
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