Clean energy is set to revolutionise power access in Lockhart River after Energy Queensland opened a competitive tender process to build a rooftop solar farm in the remote indigenous community.
The project means a portion of the community’s power, normally supplied by diesel generators, will now come from a 200 kilowatt rooftop solar PV farm, with some provisions for battery storage.
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey encouraged solar businesses to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.
“The Department of Energy and Water Supply is partnering with Ergon Energy Retail, as part of Energy Queensland, and the Department of Housing and Public Works to install this solar farm on government-owned buildings in Lockhart River,” Mr Bailey said.
“The solar farm will provide a clean energy alternative for the diesel-powered community and will include some battery energy storage to help integrate the solar farm with the local diesel generators.
“The solar farm will supply around 10 per cent of the community’s electricity needs and the project will test whether the rooftop solar farm model can help save on Government’s Community Service Obligation costs by replacing diesel power with solar generation.
The CSO is a subsidy the Palaszczuk Government pays to make sure regional Queenslanders don’t pay more for their electricity than those in South East Queensland.
“Construction of the solar farm is expected to start later this year and interested companies are now invited to tender through Qtenders for the right to design and install the farm’s solar PV and batteries.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the Lockhart River solar farm would provide a number of benefits for both the local community and the people of Queensland.
“The project will bring economic activity and benefits to the community during the construction phase and the tender will look for opportunities to provide local employment in the ongoing maintenance of the solar farm and upskilling of the current local power station operators,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Savings from the cheaper power costs of solar energy will be shared with public housing tenants in the community to reduce their cost of living and the community will benefit from cleaner energy.
“The Lockhart River trial will provide valuable insight into how we supply power to other remote communities and is another example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to developing renewable energy across Queensland, creating jobs in our regional communities and reducing carbon emissions.”
Interested companies can find further information about the Lockhart River solar farm tender process on the QTenders website – https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/ .