Australian government awards $18.7 million contract for Daintree Microgrid

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The Australian government recently announced that it has awarded Volt Advisory Group AU$18.75 million over three years to develop the Daintree Microgrid Project, an innovative renewable energy microgrid in Queensland. The project will begin construction this year and is expected to be operational by 2024.

Daintree microgrid

Daintree rainforest AustralianCamera/Shutterstock.com

The Daintree rainforest is in the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. To protect the fragile ecosystem, the microgrid will be deployed along roadways and in previously cleared land. Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said, “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.”

The construction of the renewable energy microgrid will support more than 200 jobs in Far North Queensland, according to a statement from the government. The end result will be a microgrid comprised of an 8 MW solar farm, 20 MWh of battery storage and a 1 MW clean hydrogen plant.

The region currently depends on diesel generators that consume more than 1.06 million gallons of diesel fuel every year. The microgrid will end this reliance and provide the area with a more affordable, reliable and resilient source of electricity.

“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,” said  Angus Taylor, minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction.

The funds for the Daintree microgrid are a part of a larger AU$100 million commitment the Australian government has made to support the development and adoption of microgrids in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The Daintree microgrid is the result of a feasibility study funded by the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, first announced in 2019. At that time, it was expected that the fund would support as many as 50 different feasibility studies across Australia.

The Volt Advisory Group is a Queensland-based developer that is also working on the Wujal Wuja community microgrid.

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