Rural electrification is a booming industry with the government spending $14.5 billion to provide power to more than 600,000 people in rural areas.
The Federal Government has also invested $1 billion in rural electrifying schemes to improve access to electricity and improve the rural economy.
With electricity prices at record highs and a lack of supply, the Government is trying to attract rural investment to ensure the country is powered for the future.
Read more about rural electrified power.
In Queensland, a small number of people in remote parts of the state have been using local power generators to supply power to their homes.
The Queensland Rural Electrification Authority has invested $9 million in a pilot project, and is now using the technology to help power 1,200 homes in remote communities.
The project, called Connected Home Power, was launched in the state’s rural areas in 2017.
The authority’s chief executive, Nick Taylor, said the project would help reduce the number of homes that were disconnected from the grid.
“Our goal is to reduce the total number of disconnected homes from approximately one-third to one-quarter by the end of 2020,” Mr Taylor said.
“We are building a network of connected homes so people can connect to their electricity, and we’re also using the network to provide local electricity to local businesses.”
In NSW, the state government has also put up a fund to help fund rural electrifications.
The fund was announced in 2017 as part of a plan to electrify some 250,000 homes in NSW, with an aim to electrifying half of the country’s households by 2035.
“This is about bridging the gap between people who live in rural Australia and those who do not,” Rural Electrification Minister David Shoebridge said.
The funding will be used to upgrade and expand rural electric infrastructure, improve access and reduce costs.
“By using the remote, rural infrastructure we are able to electrically connect more people to electricity, which in turn improves health, economic security and community wellbeing,” Mr Shoebrid said.
Rural electricity schemes can be a challenge Rural electrifying infrastructure can be difficult to build and maintain.
The NSW Rural Electrified Development Authority, for example, was awarded $20 million by the State Government to build an electrified line that connects to a power plant in the Northern Territory.
“The NT Government has invested over $200 million in electrifying the northern half of its power network over the last two decades,” the authority said in a statement.
“A significant proportion of this investment has been dedicated to electrification of rural areas.”
The NT’s Rural Electration Authority has also funded a small power generation facility at the site of the former Powerhouse Coal Mine in North Queensland.
The plant was originally built to generate electricity for the city of Alice Springs but was abandoned in 2006.
In 2018, the NT Government announced a $100 million program to upgrade the facility, which is due to be completed in 2021.
The scheme also includes $10 million to expand the station and upgrade its infrastructure.
Mr ShOEBRED said the scheme was the first of its kind to electriate a large amount of rural electricity infrastructure.
“There is an opportunity here to provide a new economic opportunity to rural Australians,” he said.
For the latest news and updates on rural electrifiers, visit the Rural Electrology website.