The Daly River Nauiyu community, south of Darwin, is set to be the first in the Northern Territory to be powered mostly by solar and storage, after the installation of a 2MWh lithium-ion battery system.
The battery system, pictured below, joins a 1MW solar array, installed as part of the $55 million SETuP program, which is being led by NT utility Power and Water Corporation, and jointly funded by NT government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
ARENA chief Ivor Frischknecht said the Daly River trial – one of the first of 28 SETuP projects to be rolled out across the NT – was important in showing how renewables could cut remote communities’ reliance on costly and polluting diesel fuel.
The solar and battery installed at Daly River are expected to power half of the town’s energy needs, reducing the community reliance on diesel by 50 per cent, and cutting its consumption by 400,000 litres of fuel a year.
“As battery costs reduce over the next few years, solar and battery technology will become more and more economically compelling as an alternative to traditional ways of powering remote communities,” Frischknecht said.
The SETuP scheme is also expected to bring job opportunities to local Indigenous people, engaging the communities throughout the construction process, and in flora and fauna surveys, fencing, installation and construction.
Power and Water CEO Michael Thomson is confident the program will achieve the “environmental deliverables” it has targeted.
“SETuP’s Daly River Project is an effective demonstration of dependable technology use in remote locations in the Northern Territory,” Thompson said in comments on Friday.
“The cutting edge 2MWh lithium-ion battery charged by 3,200 solar panels will generate 1MW of solar energy, powering half of the town’s energy needs, reducing the reliance on diesel by 50 per cent.”