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Defence lighting the way on renewable energy

Defence lighting the way on renewable energy

The Federal Government will invest $64 million in the Defence Renewable Energy and Energy Security Program to deliver solar energy generation and battery storage systems at ten Defence sites throughout Australia.

Sixty megawatts of solar energy, enough to power the equivalent of about 15,000 households each year, and 25-megawatt hours of battery energy storage are being planned for development and delivery under the program.

Assistant minister for defence, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, said works would begin across a number of states and territories and continue until 2027-28.

“I am pleased to announce a significant investment in the Defence Renewable Energy and Energy Security Program which marks a firm commitment to sustainable environmental management in support of Defence capability,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

“This investment helps to take pressure off local energy grids by making Defence facilities more self-reliant. Because renewables are the cheapest form of energy, these upgrades should also reduce energy costs and drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

“More investment in renewables helps to deliver Defence savings on energy costs so that more can be invested in capability into the future.”

The investment builds upon earlier stages which have already delivered savings of approximately $380,000 per year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1,793 tonnes per annum.

The expanded commitment announced today will see the delivery of two large-scale renewable energy projects at Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory and the Edinburgh Defence Precinct in South Australia.

Additional projects will increase resilience at Defence bases and reduce dependency on fuel supply chains for backup power generation at:

  • RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal, Larrakeyah Barracks, and Harts Range in the Northern Territory;
  • RAAF Bases Curtin and Learmonth and the Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station in Western Australia; and
  • Woomera Range Complex in South Australia.

Design work will also commence for a solar system at the Russell Headquarters complex in the ACT.

Renewable energy and storage will be achieved through:

  • installation of renewable systems to diversify supply and increase energy independence;
  • battery storage systems to increase energy resilience and power quality;
  • piloting of microgrid projects to complement existing base electrical networks, to reduce reliance on diesel fuel; and
  • investigating and managing risks associated with new technology and electrical systems, including cyber security and electromagnetic interference.

Thistlethwaite said the delivery of program works generates positive environmental and economic benefits to local communities.

“The program will support jobs and small businesses in regional communities through delivery, preparation and installation and maintenance as we anticipate their participation in the preparation and delivery of program works,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

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