ASI Funds Northern Territory Solar Electricity Study

The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) is providing $500,000 to the Northern Territory’s Power and Water Corporation (PWC) to investigate ways to increase solar energy sourced electricity in Daly River.
 
The Daly River community, like many other remote locations in the Northern Territory, is heavily dependent on diesel generators for power. It’s not only an emissions intensive way to generate electricity, but expensive; with diesel fuel often costing more than in city or major regional centers due to the distances it must be transported.
 
According to the ASI’s Executive Director Mark Twidell , mini-grid solar systems located in areas with optimal solar resources can provide reliable power at a price competitive with diesel.
 
“Ultimately this project will reduce reliance on diesel generation, reduce remote community vulnerability to rising diesel fuel costs and improve energy security,” Mr
Twidell said.
 
“There are over 52 isolated diesel mini-grids throughout the Northern Territory, servicing remote Indigenous communities that could benefit from this project and
solar’s clean, readily available electricity.”
  
In partnership with the local community and Charles Darwin University, PWC will perform a feasibility assessment and develop a Solar/Diesel Mini-Grid Handbook, serving as a platform for roll out of solar across the Territory.
 
Power and Water Corporation General Manager Remote Operations Darryl Day said PWC aims to increase solar power’s share in the Daly River grid energy mix through generator optimisation and load management.
 
The Daly River region is located between Darwin and Katherine.
 
The Australian Solar Institute is a $150 million commitment by the Australian Government to develop photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. According to the body, so far nearly two-thirds of the $150 million provided by the Australian Government has been invested in solar innovation projects. By the beginning of next year, ASI will join the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).