Construction is underway on a hybrid renewable power station – based around solar and battery storage – that will supply the off-grid town of Jabiru in the Northern Territory, which is pinning its future on tourism and services.
The company contracted to build and operate the 50 per cent renewable microgrid, Energy Developments Limited (EDL), said on Monday it had started work on the 4.5MW diesel and 3MW/5MWh battery components of the Jabiru Hybrid Renewable Project, with the 3.9MW solar plant to follow.
EDL said the microgrid’s diesel generators were scheduled to come online by the end of 2021 and the solar farm in early 2022, with the entire hybrid power station expected to be fully commissioned by February 2022.
“Once completed, our hybrid renewable power station will provide Jabiru with at least 50 per cent reliable renewable energy over the long term,” EDL chief James Harman said in a statement.
“We are excited about providing this sustainable energy solution to the people of Jabiru, and are proud to contribute to the Northern Territory’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030.”
As One Step reported earlier this year, Jabiru had been supplied by diesel generators from the nearby Ranger uranium mine operated by Energy Resources Australia, but the mine ceased production, taking the diesel generators out of the equation.
The Northern Territory Labor government held a tender for providers to come up with plans to supply the town with at least 50 per cent renewable supply – as per its territory-wide 2030 target.
In a statement, the NT government said the project – part of its $135.5 million dollar commitment to the Future of Jabiru and Kakadu – would ensure secure, reliable and affordable electricity for local businesses and residents.
“Territorians deserve access to the very best services, no matter where they live,” said NT chief minister Michael Gunner.
“Jabiru is an important town, and the gateway to Kakadu National Park and the West Arnhem Region.
“We are investing millions into Jabiru to transform it into the tourism and services hub we know it will one day be.
“This is just another project we are investing in to create jobs for Territorians and new opportunities for local businesses, which is key to keeping us on track as Australia’s comeback capital.”