As part of the 2020-21 Budget, the Government will invest $28.5 million to fund energy infrastructure projects to increase Western Australia’s energy security while lowering costs and reducing emissions.
The Government’s funding will support:
- an initial investment in a Big Battery project that will increase capacity in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) by 100 MW / 200 MWh; and
- the extension of Western Australia’s microgrids program to deliver affordable and reliable power to more regional and remote towns.
Participating communities in the microgrids program will benefit from a total of 2.3 MW of solar and 3 MWh of battery storage, while the SWIS Big Battery project will help stabilise the electricity grid in the state’s south-west.
The microgrids will enable an additional seven regional towns and remote indigenous communities to replace high cost, unreliable diesel generation with an affordable energy supply they can rely on.
This builds on the Government’s $50 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, which has already awarded nearly $3 million to microgrid feasibility projects across 23 locations in Western Australia.
Both the Big Battery and microgrid projects are expected to jointly contribute an additional 0.5 million tonnes of abatement towards meeting our 2030 emissions reduction target.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government is supporting projects in WA that will deliver a more reliable, affordable energy system for Western Australians and create new jobs.
“We are focused on working with states and territories to ensure their specific energy needs are met,” Minister Taylor said.
“By funding these projects, we are taking the first steps towards delivering an energy and emissions reduction deal with Western Australia that benefits everyone.
“Importantly, this funding will provide reliable and affordable energy solutions to remote indigenous communities, supporting economic development, local jobs and reducing disadvantage for households.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said: “Our Government is focused on creating more jobs by lowering energy costs and boosting reliability of supply, while meeting our emissions reduction targets.
“Projects like the Big Battery and microgrid technologies help regional and remote communities get access to cheaper, more reliable energy which is particularly important for these communities that don’t have ready access to alternative sources like those in the cities.”
State and territory governments have a critical role in implementing initiatives to support energy security and drive down costs for Australians.
The projects are expected to create close to 400 jobs across Western Australia.