Caloundra to get local renewable energy zone pilot

Suburban homes with solar panels installed on the rooftops (flexible services)
Image: Shutterstock

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has announced a $40 million local renewable energy zone (LREZ) pilot for Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The LREZ pilot will investigate how units and renters can share in using the power from local rooftops and batteries—and participate in the transition.

Related article: Queensland pumps $26 billion into renewables race

Working hand-in-hand with Energy Queensland’s local network-connected batteries, LREZs will allow the benefits of renewable energy to be shared among all customers, especially those who haven’t been able to invest in solar power, for one reason or another.

The LREZ will work by households with rooftop solar transferring the energy they generate during the day into local batteries, to be transferred back during the night time, when the sun isn’t shining, but energy usage is at its peak.

The Caloundra LREZ pilot will see the deployment of up to 8.4MW/18.8MWh of battery storage and support up to an additional 2.8MW of solar PV, and 0.9MW of demand management.

The benefits will be shared across residential and commercial customer sites in Caloundra, starting from January 2025.

The government funding includes $3 million to optimise the size of behind the meter customer assets such as solar PV, batteries, home energy management systems and dynamic connections for the Caloundra LREZ pilot project.

Premier Miles said, “Right now, communities that benefit from high levels of sun cannot use those renewables at night. So, the answer is storage and using Local Renewable Energy Zones to facilitate the transfer.

Related article: Queensland introduces 75% by 2035 emission reduction bill

“LREZs will maximise the use of existing network infrastructure and batteries to produce, store, share, and use renewable energy locally.”

Caloundra locals can registered their interest in the pilot here.

Previous articlePacific Partnerships to develop 700MW solar/storage project
Next articleARENA launches global $100M Solar ScaleUp Challenge