Not necessarily, being connected to the existing grid would allow Uralla to import energy at times when local supply did not meet demand or export surplus energy to other users. There are significant technical, financial and regulatory factors to consider when determining the best way to transport [and store] renewable electricity and Z-NET provides an important opportunity to bring together key stakeholders and consider solutions that are feasible, viable and desirable. The process will model a range of scenarios – one of which will explore the potential for going off-grid.
Currently, the majority of our electricity is generated from large coal fired power stations and then transported across long distances through our transmission network (high voltage) and then delivered through a distribution network (low voltage) to where we use it in our homes and businesses. Over the last century this centralised energy approach has provided secure and affordable energy that has served our communities and economy well. However, the impact of climate change associated with burning fossil fuels and changes in technology mean that local renewable generation opportunities in combination with our existing network infrastructure are increasingly being looked to as part of the solution.