Government funding for solar will slash diesel use in remote Aboriginal communities

400 households in 5 remote communities in WA's Kimberley region will have rooftop solar installed.

In a joint state and federal government push to slash energy bills and cut regional diesel fuel consumption, the $19.9 million funding partnership will install solar on homes in First Nations communities in the Kimberley region, including Beagle Bay, Djarindjin-Lombadina, Ardyaloon, Bidyadanga and Warmun.

The governments say the rollout of rooftop solar across the roughly 400 households is expected to deliver savings of around $450 a year on their power bills, while slashing the communities’ reliance on costly and polluting diesel generators.

“Of course, we know that First Nations communities are among the most energy insecure in the world,” said Bowen during a speech at the CEDA summit.

​”Investing in renewable energy in these communities helps to bolster energy security and deliver energy savings.

The funding – $12.6 million from the WA government and $7.3 million from the Commonwealth – will also help a further 1,600 regional WA households to access cleaner energy from centralised solar farms.

​Renters and low-income families will be able to subscribe to Horizon Power’s initiative, access the benefits of renewables and realise yearly savings of about $250.

“It’s a practical announcement to ensure that no one is locked out on the benefits of cheap, clean solar energy,” Bowen said.

WA premier Roger Cook said the support from the federal government, including for the state’s Kimberley Communities Solar Saver program, would help make the clean energy transition fair for all.

“This partnership will allow regional and remote residents to access the benefits of solar, leading to a more equitable renewable energy future for all Australians,” Cook said on Friday.

This article was first published on One Step off the Grid. You can read it here.

Sophie Vorrath
Editor, One Step Off the Grid
March 3, 2024
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