What is the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund Microgrids?
The Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund Microgrids is a program that will fund feasibility studies looking at microgrid technologies to replace, upgrade or supplement existing electricity supply arrangements in off-grid and fringe-of grid communities located in regional and remote areas.
The Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund – Microgrids will run over five years from 2019-20 to 2023-24. The program was announced by the Australian Government as a measure in the 2019 Budget to support feasibility studies into more reliable, secure and cost effective energy supply to regional and remote communities in Australia.
This will be achieved through:
- improved regional business, community services and emergency resilience through innovative microgrid solutions
- scaled-up and improved microgrid systems in regional and remote communities
- increased human capital (skills/knowledge) in the design and deployment of microgrids
- demonstrated commerciality and/or reliability and security benefits of deploying and upgrading microgrids
- reduced barriers to microgrid uptake in remote and regional communities
- increased dissemination of technology and/or project knowledge regarding the deployment and upgrading of microgrids.
The objective of the program is to support regional and remote communities to investigate whether replacing, upgrading or supplementing a microgrid or upgrading existing off-grid and fringe-of-grid supply with microgrid or related new energy technologies would be cost effective.
The Australian Government has announced a total of $50.4 million over five years for the program. It is expected that up to $25.8 million will be available for this grant opportunity.
The minimum grant amount is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount is $10 million.
To be eligible your project must:
- undertake a study determining the feasibility of a microgrid in one or more regional and/or remote community and prepare a report on the outcomes, including information for publication
- have at least $100,000 in eligible expenditure.
Eligible activities may include:
- scoping and monitoring analyses, including modelling and load profiling and improved data quality
- consultation and planning, including community engagement and awareness
- testing of alternate commercial models for energy supply through microgrid systems
- design and temporary deployment of microgrid technologies, including hybrid systems to demonstrate effectiveness and interoperability
- non-ongoing/temporary activities to monitor the performance of the supply, reliability and quality of microgrid systems and technologies
- knowledge sharing activities including demonstration and workshops.
To be eligible you must be an entity incorporated in Australia and a trading corporation
Your trading activities must either:
- form a sufficiently significant proportion of the corporation’s overall activities as to merit it being described as a trading corporation
- be a substantial and not merely peripheral activity of the corporation.
The program can only accept applications if your project is located in an inner regional, outer regional, remote or very remote area. These are defined by the Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area.
If you are ineligible you may be able to submit a joint application. Joint applications are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.
Applications close 27 January 2021.