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Burning diesel to generate electricity in the Daintree rainforest is harming the health of locals and damaging the local environment. Additionally, cost of generation using small domestic diesel generators is very high.
Arcadis is designing the Daintree Microgrid, which allows for renewable energy to supply over 90% of power to residents, tourism operators and local businesses, and up to 100% where severe weather events are not included.
The Daintree Microgrid will protect the natural environment from risks associated with the consumption of 4 million liters of diesel a year and provide cheaper, reliable power, which will be essential for residents and local businesses.
of power to be supplied by the Daintree Microgrid
4 million liters
of diesel will no longer burned in Daintree to produce power
The Daintree region of Far North Queensland is world-renowned for its World Heritage protected rainforest and unique ecological systems. But it is also cut-off from Queensland’s electricity grid, resulting in an over-reliance on diesel as a source of power. With over 4 million liters of diesel burnt each year, emissions released into the environment contribute to a decline in health for people in the Daintree region and damage the region’s once-pristine environment where they live.
The community and businesses are affected by ineffective solar panels and ongoing blackouts, and regional tourism is also hindered by damage to branding from the diesel generation, a lack of effective broadband communications and the low availability of air-conditioned accommodation.
Arcadis partnered with Volt Advisory to develop electrical and civil designs for the implementation of the 100% renewable energy Daintree Microgrid, to provide consumers and regional tourism operators with the benefits of a renewable, low emission and reliable electricity supply.
The Arcadis Energy and Resources team in Brisbane brought complex engineering and design expertise to the project to navigate the complexities and challenges associated with the integration of multiple solar generation and hydrogen storage technologies. The members of the team will use their expertise to deliver high-level designs for an underground cable network, eliminating the need for overhead power lines which affect the pristine ecology of the region.
Providing stable power from up to 100% renewable energy sources is a challenge due to the intermittency of solar supply and the slow response of hydrogen cells during power disturbances.
The Arcadis team has proposed the combination of Solar, Battery Energy Storage System and Hydrogen supply. We have allowed for maximization of use of solar energy without interruption by scheduling generation to limit disturbances, and by working with cable installation professionals, to connect all distribution assets with minimum impact on the environment.
The project will also include a fiber optic network to supply the region with fast and reliable broadband internet capacity through integration with the microgrid’s underground cable network.
The Daintree Microgrid is a transformative, high-profile project for the Australian renewable energy sector and regional Australian communities, and a strong move towards a sustainable future.
Critically, the microgrid will protect the natural environment from the current risks associated with the consumption of 4 million liters of diesel a year for electricity generation.
The microgrid will provide up to 8MW of power to over 300 residential customers and multiple tourist accommodation facilities, coming to 9.6GWh a year.
The implementation of the project will support the residential, business and tourism industries to operate using energy from a reliable renewable energy grid and provide them with fast reliable broadband.
It will be a shining example of a highly successful approach to the sustainable generation and storage of energy.