Queensland Government Delivers on Promise to Bring Solar Electricity to Remote Communities

Solar Electricity to Remote Communities

The Palaszczuk Government’s 2023-24 Budget is set to bring significant financial and environmental relief to four remote communities in Queensland: Boulia, Burketown, Doomadgee, and Windorah. These communities are switching from expensive fossil-fueled power to renewable energy sources, primarily solar electricity and battery storage. The $28 million investment in these projects is part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, which aims to not only reduce energy costs but also create employment opportunities and reduce emissions in some of the state’s most remote regions.

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Transition to clean energy

These four remote Queensland communities are expected to collectively save $3 million per year by making the shift to renewable energy sources. This transition involves replacing 1.5 million litres of diesel with solar and battery storage systems. The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is not only a financial relief but also a significant step toward reducing the environmental impact of these communities by curbing emissions.

Quotes from key stakeholders

Minister for Transport and Main Road, Mark Bailey

“While these new solar farms might be small in size comparative to the Queensland SuperGrid, the benefit of them to these remote communities is incredibly valuable.

“This program is proof that the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering opportunities and benefits of our clean energy transition to all Queenslanders, no matter where they live.

“This is great for the environment too, getting these isolated networks off millions of litres of diesel will help us to reduce electricity emissions by 96% by 2040.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni

“The beauty of outback Queensland may be a world away from global events like the illegal war in Ukraine, but we cannot underestimate how much global price rises on fossil fuels are impacting them.

“Because Queenslanders kept their energy system in public hands, they can put the people of these remote communities first in our energy and climate transition, savings millions by switching to solar.

“By supporting more renewable energy and decreasing the reliance on diesel generation for these isolated communities, the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is delivering clean, cheap, and secure energy for all Queenslanders.”

Energy Queensland’s Acting Chief Engineer Jason Hall

“Ergon Energy Network’s isolated networks are 34 isolated networks across 39 communities, where Ergon Energy provides both the generation and distribution network services in a type of micro-grid.

“Queensland’s isolated networks are mostly powered by dedicated diesel power stations, with some generation coming from a combination of customer-owned rooftop solar PV, and centralised renewable energy installations owned and operated by Ergon Energy Network.

“These projects will not only create direct and indirect contractor and supplier jobs in these communities, but they will also create massive savings for these isolated communities.”

Solar and battery storage projects


Ergon Energy Network plans to install 4.5MW of solar PV and 4MWh of energy storage in Doomadgee. This project is projected to save approximately 680,000 litres of diesel and $1.36 million annually. This substantial reduction in diesel usage not only cuts costs but also significantly decreases emissions, contributing to a greener environment.


In Windorah, Ergon Energy Network plans to install 850kW of solar PV and 1,000kWh of energy storage. This initiative is expected to save 150,000 litres of diesel and $300,000 annually. By adopting renewable energy, Windorah is making a significant step toward sustainability and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

solar farm
Image: Queensland Windorah Solar Farm


Burketown is set to benefit from the installation of 1,200kW of solar PV and 1,000kWh of energy storage by Ergon Energy Network. This project is forecasted to save 270,000 litres of diesel and $540,000 annually. The reduction in diesel consumption not only has financial advantages but also contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment for the community.


Ergon Energy Network plans to install 1,700kW of solar PV and 1,500kWh of energy storage in Boulia. The estimated savings for this project are substantial, with 360,000 litres of diesel and $720,000 expected to be saved each year. This transition to renewable energy represents a significant step toward sustainability and cost savings for the community.

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How the projects will work

Ergon Energy Network, the state-owned electricity distributor, will install solar and battery storage systems in the four communities. The systems will be integrated into the existing power grids and provide renewable energy to the communities during the day. The battery storage systems will store excess solar energy for use at night or during periods of low solar generation.

Benefits of the Queensland Energy and jobs plan

Environmental benefits: The most noticeable and immediate benefit of these projects is the reduction in carbon emissions. The shift from diesel to solar power will significantly reduce the communities’ carbon footprint, contributing to Queensland’s efforts to combat climate change. It is projected that electricity emissions will decrease by 96% by 2040, significantly benefiting the environment.

Financial savings: The financial relief these communities will experience is also significant. By cutting reliance on expensive diesel generation, residents and businesses can expect reduced electricity costs. Collectively, these communities are set to save millions each year, providing much-needed financial stability to the region.

Job creation: Beyond the cost savings, these projects will create both direct and indirect job opportunities in the communities. The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan not only lowers energy costs but also stimulates the local economy by generating employment in the renewable energy sector.

Source&Images: Queensland Government Media Statements

Queensland communities are a win-win for everyone involved

The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in solar and battery storage for remote Queensland communities is a win-win for everyone involved. 

The transition from fossil-fueled power to renewable energy sources in remote Queensland communities is a significant step toward a sustainable and cost-effective future. The investment of $28 million in solar and battery storage projects in Boulia, Burketown, Doomadgee, and Windorah proves the Queensland government’s commitment to clean energy and economic growth in even the most remote areas. This transition not only saves money but also benefits the environment and creates job opportunities, making it a win-win situation for these communities and the state of Queensland as a whole.

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