Townsville to get local renewable energy zone pilot

View of Townsville city from hilltop with Magnetic Island in the distance
Townsville (Image: Shutterstock)

A Local Renewable Energy Zone (LREZ) will be established in Townsville in North Queensland to help the community generate more renewable energy, store it and share it locally across the electricity infrastructure that already exists.

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

Related article: Caloundra to get local renewable energy zone pilot

That includes renters, vulnerable customers and those who live in unit complexes.

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

That means households that have not previously had access to cheaper electricity generated through rooftop solar will now be able to access the benefits.

The Queensland Government will fund $40 million for the Townsville LREZ pilot project which 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 Townsville, starting from January 2025.

This is one of two LREZ projects funded in the Queensland Government State Budget, following the announcement of the Caloundra LREZ.

The 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 Townsville LREZ pilot project.

Related article: Queensland pumps $26 billion into renewables race

Energy Queensland has also received the go-ahead for another 18 local network-connected batteries which will play a major role in the transition to help deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy for future generations.

Locals can register their interest to participate here.

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