Local, Independant and Effective
March 19, 2018

Minister Frydenberg's visit comes as ARENA announces new energy funding initiative

Federal Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan has welcomed the announcement of a $12.5 million funding initiative that will support the integration of distributed energy resources in homes and businesses to contribute to grid reliability.

The announcement by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has come ahead of a visit to Indi tomorrow (Monday, 19 March 2018) by the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP.

Mr Frydenberg and Ms McGowan will attend two roundtables at Yackandandah and Benalla bringing together stakeholders from across the electorate to discuss innovation in Indi in the renewable energy space, including community partnerships with local government.

Ms McGowan said ARENA’s first targeted funding initiative was focused on supporting increasing shares of distributed energy resources such as solar PV and batteries.

“I look forward to hosting Minister Frydenberg on Monday to see what is already underway in Indi and discuss opportunities for the ARENA funding,” Ms McGowan said.

“It is estimated there are more than 1.7 million Australian householders – around 20 per cent – with solar on their roof.

“There is an expectation that more households and businesses will invest in batteries, and energy management systems including smart thermostats.

Ms McGowan said she was keen to see applications from Indi among those projects and studies offered for funding under the new program.

“There is a community energy revolution now underway across Indi and this funding will provide the impetus for some of these projects to take the next step,” she said.

 “ARENA chief executive, Ivor Frischknecht says consumer owned energy resources are going to play a big role in the future energy mix.”

Distributed energy resources include rooftop solar, home batteries, inverters, controllable loads, electric vehicle charging points, smart appliances and systems, as well as smart meters and data services.

Mr Frischknecht said the $12.5 million distributed energy resources funding initiative would support pilot projects and studies to integrate these resources into the electricity system.

He said by 2022, whole regions of the electricity system should be operated securely and reliably with 100 per cent of demand met from a behind-the-meter assets combination including rooftop solar, batters and demand management within homes and businesses.

Expressions of interest for $7.5 million to pilot projects increasing network hosting capacity close on 7 May 2018. Expressions of interest for a further $5 million for desktop or feasibility studies or modelling to successfully integrate distributed energy resources close on 16 April 2018. Successful projects are expected to be awarded funding in the second half of this year.

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