A combination of solar, batteries and back-up diesel generators have been installed on two cattle stations in the Mount Isa region to trial long-term energy solutions for regional businesses in remote areas.
The Palaszczuk government hopes a trial of the stand-alone power systems will provide remote rural producers with cheaper, more reliable electricity in the long term.
Many rural and remote communities are connected to Single Wire Earth Return lines that were developed around 1970 and 1980 but many are approaching the end of their life, resulting in the investigation of alternative solutions that provide cost effective, reliable energy in these areas.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said local business Q-Energy Solutions had played a lead role in the SAPS trial, supporting local jobs in Queensland's economic recovery.
"The Palaszczuk government has committed to ensuring the long-term reliability and security of power supply for all Queenslanders," he said.
"The SAPS trial will provide further intel on future alternative solutions and how they'll work best for regional businesses in remote locations.
"Ergon Energy will investigate whether this model can deliver the supply required to meet the energy needs of the cattle stations in the long term."
Mr de Brenni said a reduction in network costs and the the delivery of a reliable supply for rural producers at the end of the line remains a big priority.
"Agriculture is a $19 billion industry in Queensland, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs," he said.
"With major economies around the world considering carbon tariffs, we can ensure Queensland producers aren't saddled with these charges and remain competitive on the global market by delivering cheaper, cleaner energy.
"Looking to the future, SAPS could give our producers a head start and edge to grow, to create jobs and to export more Queensland produce to a decarbonising world."
Peter Price, Energy Queensland's executive general manager of engineering, said data gathered from the trial would potentially help in developing future energy solutions for customers in high cost-to-serve network areas.
"Ergon Energy and Energex are embracing technology that helps meet the challenges of serving customers across vast distances and in some very remote and hard to access locations," he said.
"In this case, we have two customers in a unique arrangement where they are supplied by a SWER line, that is in turn connected to networks run by two separate third parties.
"While the SAPS installed at the two sites offer a utility-grade supply and are designed to meet the customers' full load, their grid connection will be retained and the SWER line will remain in place during the trial."
Mr Price said there was potential for an off-grid solution down the track, however rigorous assessment of the SAPS is still required to ensure it meets the needs of their customers.
"We're all about delivering reliable, affordable, safe and sustainable energy solutions in partnership with our customers and communities," he said.