NT Government pours $3.1 million into solar, batteries for remote communities

The Northern Territory Government continues to invest in battery technology, ensuring more locals benefit from renewable energy. 

In the latest budget, the government invested $3.1 million for preparatory works for the rollout of more solar and batteries in remote communities, including detailed technical analysis. The Remote Power System Strategy (RPSS) will reduce the reliance of diesel generators in regional and remote communities. 

The Power and Water Corporation has also secured conditional support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for 16 community batteries, which will sit in several locations on the Darwin-Katherine electricity grid. 

Once online, the government says the batteries will have an impact on local network constraints and will expand rooftop solar capacity, reduce emissions, and keep power prices affordable. 

Minister for Renewables and Energy Kate Worden says because the government owns the assets, they are able to keep prices low. 

“We also subside the power bill of every territory household by $1,500 a year through the Community Service Obligation,” she says. 

Meanwhile, due to battery testing being completed at Berrimah, the $6.1 million Wurrumiyanga Solar Farm Project is close to having battery storage. 

Wurrumiyanga aims to provide a further 1.1 megawatt solar array, coupled with a 1.75 mega volt amp battery energy storage system. The project is forecast to reduce diesel fuel consumption by 519,000 litres in the first year of operation. 

Northern Territory Parliament Member Manuel Brown says the Wurrumiyanga Project has helped the “largest” community on Bathurst Island, by bringing down emissions. 

“We look forward to seeing the work to install it take place and learning from this project what can be adapted to other remote territory communities,” he says. 

The government adds the battery has been prepared for transport to the project and work will begin to connect the battery to the farm in the coming months. 

Work on the RPSS is expected to deliver an average of 70% renewable energy to 72 remote communities. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.