Queensland government reveals second ‘Local REZ’ to aid solar PV deployment

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The project will be supported via AUS$40 million in state funding. Image: The Department for Energy and Climate.

The Queensland government has revealed that Townsville, Australia, will be the next location to house a local renewable energy zone (LREZ) as the state expands its rooftop solar PV capabilities.

The state government will allocate AUS$40 million (US$26.5 million) for the Townsville LREZ pilot project, which will deploy up to 8.4MW/18.8MWh of battery energy storage and support up to an additional 2.8MW of solar PV and 0.9MW of demand management.

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Steven Miles, premier for the Queensland government, hopes the deployment of the LREZ’s will “put Sunshine Coast rooftops at the centre of the renewable energy transition”.

The LREZ will allow customers to share the benefits of renewable energy, especially those who haven’t been able to invest in solar power, with support from Energy Queensland, the state-owned distribution system operator (DNO), and its local network-connected battery energy storage units.

According to the government, the benefits will be shared across Townsville’s residential and commercial customer sites starting from January 2025.

It is worth noting that the Queensland government recently revealed another LREZ earmarked for Caloundra. Both LREZ developments will host the same solar, storage, and demand management capacity.

Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Minister Mick de Brenni from the Queensland government stated that the LREZ initiative puts “everything on the table, including more affordable power and access to the benefits of rooftop solar”.

“Just like public ownership of Queensland’s energy assets, the LREZ project will put energy control into communities hands,” he said.

“This initiative, which has been championed by local members in North Queensland and the Smart Energy Council, is only possible because collectively Queensland owns their energy distribution system – something only Labor is committed to.”

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