Northern Territory

First NT community to reach 50% renewable energy

Nauiyu (Daly River) will be the first remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory to reach the Territory Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target – powered by solar and battery.

NT Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy inspected the solar and battery site and said Government was acting on climate change to protect our unique natural environment, economy, lifestyle and quality of life.

“We are investing in renewable energy to do what’s best for the Territory now and for future generations – it will see fewer emissions and more jobs,” Mr McCarthy said.

“This is another step towards achieving our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. We made this promise and we are acting on it.”

Mr McCarthy said good environmental policy is smart economic policy and will result in more jobs for Territorians and greater power reliability.

The Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) will be completed in Daly River next month (September 2017) and will provide 100 per cent of the community’s daytime electricity needs, enabling the community’s diesel engines to be turned off.

The Daly River site will deliver cutting edge technology that will guide the installation of future renewable energy in the bush.

The battery will be charged by 3200 solar panels, which will save 400,000 litres of fuel every year, meaning half as many fuel trucks on the road.

“Once the site is commissioned, the diesel generators will only operate at night, leading to improved local air quality and a cleaner, greener community,” Mr McCarthy said.

“As battery costs rapidly reduce over the next few years, we expect solar and battery technology to become more economically viable – which is great news for the Territory environment.

“I congratulate the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for their investment in small-scale renewable energy innovation and thank them for their critical contributions to renewable energy in the Territory.”

The Energy Storage System comprises Samsung 2MWh lithium-ion battery, inverters for converting battery DC energy to AC, a cooling system and a control system to allow integration with the existing diesel power station.

SETuP is a $55 million program equally funded by the ARENA and the Territory Government, managed by Power and Water. The Daly River project investment will be approximately $6.2 million upon completion.

Under SETuP, another 10 remote Aboriginal communities in the Territory recently had 3.325 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants commissioned, reducing the reliance on diesel by 15 per cent.

Source: NT Government