The inauguration of a million dollar study could see one of the Hunter’s recently developed areas become Australia’s first to go fully ‘off-grid’.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has given about $500,000 with regards to the $1.1 million investigation into getting the new Huntlee expansion powered fully by renewables.
Construction has already begun on the recently developed area, with 7,500 new households to be constructed over the next 25 years.
Danny Murphy from developer LWP Property Group stated that it is a better ‘blank canvas’ for a primary new renewable energy project.
“And that’s a combination of solar and gas, you need two sources to ensure that there’s a reliable supply of electricity at all times,” he stated.
Brookfield Energy is overseeing the feasibility assessment which should end early 2016.
Mr Murphy stated that it will be a primary attraction for the people living in the area, and is confident renewable energy can be feasible on a huge scale.
“We see Huntlee being an example which can then be applied across all greenfield projects throughout Australia.” he said.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency CEO Ivor Frischknecht stated that if the study becomes successful, Huntlee open a bigger door for renewable energy development in Australia.
“Doing these kinds of small communities off grid provides a model for what might happen to the network, the one we’re all connected to,” Mr. Frischknecht stated.”It could tie in with a particular kind of resident, you could turn this into a green community or a lifestyle community.”