Pilots explore renewable energy sharing

Energy storage batteries. | Newsreel ]
New Local Renewable Energy Zones will feed power into locally-connected batteries. | Photo: Young777 (iStock)

Caloundra and Townsville residents will pilot a new system to store and re-use locally produced energy across the community.

Queensland Government Local Renewable Energy Zones (LREZ) will be set up in those regions to help locals generate more renewable energy, store it and share it locally across the existing electricity infrastructure.

State Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said working with Energy Queensland’s local network-connected batteries, LREZs would allow the benefits of renewable energy to be shared amongst all customers, especially those who haven’t been able to invest in solar power.

“That includes renters, vulnerable customers and those who live in unit complexes,” Minister de Brenni said.

He said LREZs allowed households with rooftop solar to transfer energy they generated during the day into local batteries, to be transferred back to additional households during the night, when the sun wasn’t shining, but energy usage was at its peak.

Energy Queensland Chief Engineer Peter Price said by progressively transforming the network into LREZ the state would be able to triple the capacity to connect residential rooftop solar to electricity networks.

“Just like how customers with roof top solar manage their home appliances to make the most of using their own generation before exporting it to the network, an LREZ aims to achieve the same thing at a community level, by co-ordinating the energy among all the local community members and businesses to maximise the energy value at a community level before exporting it out to the transmission network,” Mr Price said.

“Our LREZ pilot projects in Townsville and Caloundra will provide invaluable insights into customers at the centre of a smart, integrated electricity network and will pave the way to support Queensland’s energy transition.”

He said local network-connected batteries, coordinated with home battery systems, hot water, solar and EVs, would enable Queenslanders to become active participants in a shared energy system.

Learn more on the Energex website.