Queensland pilots local renewable energy zone

The Queensland government is piloting a Local Renewable Energy Zone (LREZ) in the state’s Sunshine Coast region, which will tap solar energy generated by the community to share across the network.

Peter Price: valuable insights

The Queensland Government is providing $40 million for the Caloundra LREZ 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.

Solar energy captured during the day will be stored in local batteries and transferred back into the grid at night.

Energy will be shared across residential and commercial customer sites in Caloundra from January 2025, with the pilot investigating how units and renters can participate in the transition.

Queensland’s Chief Engineer Peter Price says it’s a step towards transforming the Energy Queensland network into local renewable energy zones.

The mix of customer-owned and network-owned batteries has the potential to deliver the peaking power equivalent to a coal fired generator, he said.

Queensland already has in excess of 5GW of solar connected to Energy Queensland’s distribution networks, more than three times the size of the largest coal generator

“Our L-REZ pilot projects in Caloundra and Townsville will provide invaluable insights to how customers at the centre of a smart, integrated electricity network and will pave the way to support Queensland’s energy transition,” Mr Price said in a statement.

The 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 funded via a $240 million Budget commitment.

The new batteries will make up Stage 5 of the Energy Queensland battery program, which has so far seen 30 local network-connected batteries and three different flow battery systems built, or currently under construction, across the state.

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