Solar for remote communities
As part of the $3.6 million Decarbonising Remote Communities program, 4 Indigenous communities in Queensland’s far north – Doomadgee, Mapoon, Pormpuraaw and the Northern Peninsula Area – will have new renewable energy systems installed to reduce the use of diesel power. Participating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils are key project partners in planning and delivering these projects.
Using renewables such as solar and battery storage directly benefits remote communities that run on diesel by creating jobs and power savings, as well as bringing the environmental benefits of reduced emissions.
Installation of the 304 kilowatt (kW) ground-mounted solar farm extension (adjacent to the existing 264kW solar farm) is now complete and 105kW of rooftop solar has been installed on 4 Doomadgee Shire Council buildings. All systems were commissioned on 30 November 2019.
This project provided around 15 construction jobs in the local community and the rooftop solar will help Doomadgee Council save around $30,000 a year on their power bills for years to come.
The Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council installed 65kW of rooftop solar in the community during the second half of 2019. We supported council by covering the cost of network and communication technologies. This included upgrading the power station to allow council’s rooftop solar to work together with the diesel generators that power the local grid.
We also engaged the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network to deliver energy education to residents with the aim of helping families save money on power by being more energy efficient at home.
Further rooftop solar and battery storage is planned for 2021, providing even greater savings for the Council and the community.
Around 210kW of rooftop solar was installed on 8 council owned buildings during the second half of 2020. The solar is expected to result in annual power bill savings of around $40,000 for Pormpuraaw Council over the next 20 years.
Northern Peninsula Area
Up to 340kW of rooftop solar is planned for installation on 13 buildings across the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA). Each of the communities in the area, including Bamaga, Umagico, Injinoo, Seisia and New Mapoon, will have solar installed.
With construction due to commence in 2021, this project is expected to save the NPA Regional Council around $87,000 per year off their power bills.
Last updated 4 November 2020