About This Project
Advance Queensland, a State Government Agency, under the Queensland Connects program, is about team-based project groups undertaking planning activities which might stimulate innovation and business development in renewable energy in the regions. A local based team in the West Moreton Region was awarded Project Funding of $30,000 to be managed by RDA Ipswich & West Moreton to develop a plan for Community Energy Zones.
A Community Energy Zone is an aggregation of renewable energy generation and distribution at a community level.
Community Energy Zones are modern day power stations. They combine renewable energy generation such as wind and solar, storage such as batteries, high voltage poles and wires to deliver energy to the homes, businesses and industries that need it. By connecting multiple generators and storage in the same location, these energy zones capitalize on economies of scale to deliver cheap, reliable and clean electricity.
The Community Energy Zones are expected to deliver multiple benefits including:
- More reliable energy from significant amounts of new energy supply
- Energy bill savings from reduced wholesale electricity costs
- Emissions reduction from a cleaner energy sector
- Community partnership from strategic planning and best practice engagement
- Community benefit sharing
- Providing numerous potential opportunities for many communities’ members
- Potential to stabilize the local distribution grid reducing the potential large infrastructure costs for utilities.
There are of course a range of social, economic and governance barriers for Community Energy Zones to prosper. This project is to develop and highlight our region’s ability to tackle this must-win problem.
The two locations being considered Ipswich and Mt Tamborine are quite different in population density, business diversity and local government contexts. The learnings in each case will be important for future projects. Using two different network positions (Ipswich at the States interconnector and Mt Tamborine as an end point), it is hoped to create models which might be replicated for use in other locations.
Establishment of a Community Energy Zone in Ipswich and Mt Tamborine will provide economic development and become an investment attraction perspective. Providing green energy to current and future local and international organisations would attract companies and assist them in meeting their carbon reduction targets.