The New Zealand Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) has chosen Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries to store energy in off-grid telecommunication sites in remote rural locations. Commercial negotiations to establish a direct relationship between RCG and Redflow to purchase batteries are now underway.
The RCG was established by the New Zealand Government in 2017 as an independent entity to build, operate and maintain a new open access network. The RCG will build over 400 new cell sites in rural locations to extend mobile and wireless broadband coverage to more than 34,000 rural homes and businesses, provide mobile coverage to a further 1000 kilometres of state highways and provide connectivity to more than 100 top New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022. The new cell sites will be a combination of both off-grid and on-grid locations.
This critical infrastructure project is funded by the government’s Telecommunications Development Levy and an extra $75M from the three mobile network operators, Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees.
RCG’s off-grid cell sites will meet their energy needs through a combination of PV solar panels, Redflow batteries and a backup generator. It is anticipated that the first site, which will use eight Redflow batteries, will be installed by the end of December 2019.
A calendar depicting Australian birds from which are endangered by increasingly ferocious bushfires is helping to raise funds to support a volunteer brigade which battles these blazes near Darwin River.
Designed by bird photographer and ecotourism expert Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow, the Birds of Australia’s Top End 2020 calendar contains pictures of birds including the Crimson Finch, the Partridge Pidgeon, the Varied Lorikeet, the Little Kingfisher and the Red-backed Fairy Wren.
Most disturbingly, the penultimate page of the calendar contains photographs of gamba grass - an African grass introduced to Australia as cattle feed - and a ferocious fire fuelled by this invasive grass. All profits raised from sales of the calendar will go to support the work of the Darwin River Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, of which Denise and her husband Michael are both members.
Denise Goodfellow has a long history of promoting environmentally sensitive tourism to the NT. This includes her role as a founding member of Ecotourism Australia, receiving nomination by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International Ecotourism Award in 2004 and winning the Individual Champion Award, Natural Resource Management, Northern Territory in 2016.
West Australians are increasingly seeking the benefits of new-generation batteries as the State’s generous solar feed-in tariffs start to disappear, reports Redflow’s new WA partner Leith Elsegood.
WA homes that installed solar systems a decade ago are already losing the 40-cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh) feed-in tariff, introduced by the State Government to encourage the installation of solar panels. The 10-year feed-in tariff will end in 2021.
Since 1989, Mr Elsegood’s company, TIEC Services, has installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage systems throughout WA, at remote communities and, more recently, in high-end homes in the Perth metropolitan suburbs. TIEC Services recently signed up as installer of new-generation Redflow energy storage batteries for Perth and WA. Already, the company has won large, residential solar and energy storage contracts with Redflow’s ZBM2 batteries.
“The Redflow battery is ideal for WA conditions, handling the dry heat and the great distances in remote regions,” Mr Elsegood said.