News, Queensland, Sustainability

Caloundra to be home to local renewable energy zone pilot

A new Local Renewable Energy Zone (LREZ) will be established to help the community of Caloundra, QLD, in generating, storing, and sharing more renewable energy.

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.

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 energy usage peaks.

The Miles Government will fund $40 million for the Caloundra 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.

Premier Steven Miles said the LREZs will be at the forefront of a renewable energy transition in the community.

“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,” said Miles.

The benefits will be shared across residential and commercial customer sites in Caloundra, starting from January 2025. Caloundra MP Jason Hunt said the LREZs will help foster the thriving community.

“LREZs will also create business opportunities and jobs in our clean energy market and supply chain by providing opportunities for businesses to invest in rooftop solar and further stimulating battery manufacturing, solar and storage installation, and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure industries,” said Hunt.

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.

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 energy for future generations.

The new batteries will make up Stage 5 of the Energy Queensland battery program and will build on the success of the previous stages.

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