Innovation in Canberra’s renewable energy sector is set to get a boost under the ACT Government’s Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.
The Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) was established with $12 million from industry pledges associated with the first and second ACT Government Wind Auctions. The REIF has four objectives:
- Support Territory-based renewable energy businesses.
- Attract new businesses to the region.
- Develop new opportunities for research and training in the trades.
- Support the development of a renewable energy ecosystem.
Supporting Solcast’s Success
Previous recipients included Solcast, which was established in 2016. The company has taken a new approach to solar forecasting and modeling technology, based on assimilating massive amounts of data from a variety of sources and transforming these into valuable reports and tools primarily aimed at power grid operators, solar farm owners, software developers and engineers. Solcast also has a free tool for solar home owners.
Commenting on the support provided by REIF, Solcast’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Nick Engerer1 said:
“This grant allowed us to expand our team and start building the proof of concept. We have now grown to a team of 12 and serve over 30 solar farms nationwide. The software is now used by 17,000 customers worldwide.
Grants of up to $300,000 available
The third round of REIF is to provide up to a total of $1.5 million in grants. Individual projects can apply for funding between $50,000 and $300,000 (excluding GST), but must be able to match funding either through private funds, Commonwealth government funding, in-kind contributions or a combination of the three. The guidelines note that higher cash contributions will be considered favorably during assessment.
“Investing in new and emerging technologies is key to developing our growing renewable energy sector and fighting climate change, while supporting local businesses,” said ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury. “The new round will develop and commercialize new businesses and projects in the renewable energy, battery storage and zero-emissions transportation sectors.”
Applications for the third round of REIF grants will close at 11:59 p.m. on January 16, 2023. Eligibility Criteria can be found here.
Renewable energy in the ACT
The ACT leads by example (and research) on renewable energy, with 100% of the electricity consumed in the Territory coming from renewable sources since 2020. The Territory also aims to complete a transition away from gas by 2045, and as part of this effort recently expanded its home energy support program.
In terms of small scale solar energy in the ACTthat is, systems with a capacity of less than 100 kW, there had been more than 43,464 installations nationwide by the end of August this year.
Do you live in the ACT and are considering installing solar panels? Check out SolarQuotes’ list of the best solar installers serving Canberra.
- Dr. Engerer published a few articles on SolarQuotes in 2018/2019 (here and here). Some of the links to Solcast in the posts no longer work, but if you’re looking for their free rooftop solar forecast tool, You can register here. ↩