Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin today announced $30 million in funding to drive renewable energy projects in regional areas.

Making the announcement today at Enova Energy in Byron Bay with NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin, Mr Franklin said the funding would support local community projects that deliver energy security and affordability.

“Energy security and prices are front of mind for the NSW Government and especially here in Ballina where residents can incur higher energy costs and are at times exposed to greater impacts from extreme weather,” Mr Franklin said.

“We’ve committed $30 million to help fund and support energy projects in regional areas that will protect the reliability of energy supply and provide cost savings for residents and businesses.

“By backing innovative renewable energy projects like the kind seen here at Enova, we are backing regional jobs, new generation of up to 25 megawatts and lower network costs.

“The funding will also support backup power and disaster resilience for up to 70 regional communities, delivering around $2,750 in annual savings per site from solar and battery backup systems,” he said

There are three funding streams under the program:

* grants to implement community renewable energy projects;

* clean backup power for key emergency response sites; and

* advice for households and businesses on affordable energy solutions.

“We are looking to fund proposals that can deliver innovative energy projects with strong community benefits, that help maintain energy security and give regional communities access to their own energy solutions,” Mr Harwin said.

“I’d like to congratulate Ben Franklin for strongly advocating for the program that directly targets regional communities. We are taking action with solutions that support energy security and save money in the regions that need it most.”