New microgrids are helping Australia get power back after the fires

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In the wake of Australia’s bushfires—which have burned an area larger than the state of Maine over the past five months and destroyed thousands of homes—many rural areas in the country still don’t have power from the grid. It could be weeks or even months before it’s restored. Recent storms and flooding have made things worse. Now, a new project called the Resilient Energy Collective is working to quickly roll out solar power and batteries at dozens of sites. [Photo: courtesy Atlassian] “In three weeks we’ve come together, found the technology, adapted it, put it on trucks, and right now it’s operating, generating electricity,” Mike Cannon-Brookes, the cofounder of the Australia-based tech company Atlassian, said in a statement. Cannon-Brookes and his wife are donating $12 million to the collective, a collaboration with 5B, a solar panel company, and Tesla, which is providing batteries. “That’s what this collective is all about—getting the best tech and the best ingenuity together to solve a massive problem in days, not months or years.” [Photo: courtesy Atlassian] In a community called Goongerah, solar panels now power a community center that people living nearby can use for refrigeration, charging devices, and an internet connection; the […]

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