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Electricity system plans

In order to deliver the 50% renewable energy target, the Territory Government is developing the Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan and the Alice Springs Future Grid project. Both are expected to inform the future development of their respective grids. They are designed to ensure that the government delivers secure, affordable, reliable and clean energy to consumers.

Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan

As a critical deliverable under the Territory’s renewable energy target implementation plan, the Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan is being developed to assist in the transformation of the power system into a grid for the future with the target of 50% renewable energy by 2030 (the RET), and towards zero net emissions by 2050.

This is an important body of work that will provide both the Northern Territory (NT) Government and the electricity industry, with a strategic understanding of a solution pathway in six key focus areas over three separate stages to achieve the RET, including the NT Government’s vision of a $40 billion economy by 2030.

Read the Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan PDF (4.8 MB).

Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan - supporting materials PDF (207.4 KB)
Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan - supporting materials DOCX (186.1 KB)

Darwin-Katherine electricity system plan - input data XLSX (4.0 MB)

Alice Springs Future Grid Roadmap to 2030

To assist the Territory achieve the 50% renewable energy target by 2030, the NT Government funded Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) to establish the Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy in Alice Springs (Intyalheme). The flag-ship project for Intyalheme to deliver on its objectives is the Alice Springs Future Grid (ASFG) project.

The ASFG project, is focused on removing barriers to further renewable energy penetration in the Alice Springs power system. Led by Intyalheme, the ASFG project has been established with a consortium of key project partners to deliver the project, including Power and Water Corporation, Territory Generation, DKA and Ekistica Pty Ltd.

The ASFG project consists a number of sub-projects including system modelling and various trials and studies. The learnings from these sub-projects will be used to inform the development of a ‘Roadmap towards 2030’ report for Alice Springs. This report will identify the optimal pathways and timelines for achieving the Northern Territory’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030, on the Alice Springs grid.

For further information on the ASFG project including details on each of the sub-projects, go to the Alice Springs Future Grid website.

Remote power system strategy

The Territory government is working on a strategy to deliver 70% renewable energy penetration to the 72 remote communities currently provided electricity through the Indigenous Essential Services (IES) program.

Delivery of the strategy is also an action under the government's Climate Change Response and a recommendation of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission to transition IES communities to renewable-based systems by 2030.

The main source of electricity in IES communities is diesel-fired generation. The strategy aims to reduce energy-related diesel consumption in these communities whilst improving energy security and reducing emissions.

The strategy builds on the success of the completed Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP). SETuP was a $60 million program co-funded by the Territory Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) which delivered 10 megawatts of solar generation to remote communities in the Territory between 2017 and 2019.

The government is progressing detailed analysis of each community to map the optimal renewables development pathway, considering existing energy assets, community aspirations, electricity demand profiles and forecast growth.

In addition to the community focused detailed analysis, the project will involve a process of identifying available land for solar development in each community. Pilot projects and studies to facilitate greater levels of distributed energy supplies and emerging technologies, such as hydrogen, will also be investigated.

To kick start activities on the ground the government has provided funding for a pilot project to install additional solar PV and energy storage at the Wurrumiyanga community. Planning activities are also underway to facilitate external investment in renewable remote power systems in the communities which will focus on maximising opportunities for local industries, creating jobs for Territorians and strengthening local skills and expertise.

To register interest in the remote power system strategy email the Office of Sustainability at sustainableenergy.ditt@nt.gov.au.

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