Daly River’s Energy Storage System is pioneering the integration of solar energy in an isolated grid, proving remote Australia can reliably move to ‘solar only’ power during daylight hours and reduce reliance on diesel by 50 per cent.
Power and Water Corporation is delivering the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) in Daly River by installing a 2MWh lithium-ion battery charged by 3200 solar panels generating 1MW of solar energy. The installation will power half of the town’s energy needs with annual savings of up to 400,000 litres of fuel are expected.
Jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Northern Territory Government, SETuP will integrate a further 9MW across an additional 27 Northern Territory communities and transform Power and Water’s essential services delivery model in remote locations.
Power and Water’s Chief Executive Michael Thomson actively supports the program’s environmental outcomes and use of dependable technology in remote locations.
“Our local engagement throughout the project has significantly helped shape the project and brings it into fruition. Through this, the locals understand how the battery + solar panels benefit the environment, reducing emissions, diesel and noise pollution. Ensuring the community has a sense of ‘ownership’ is a key area of focus and crucial for the project’s success.”
Community engagement in Daly River has included participation from the local Malak Malak Aboriginal Rangers and the training and employment of Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation participants with Totem fencing. Locally owned Aboriginal business Piening Contracting was awarded the tender for clearing, grubbing and minor civil works.
“The Ironbark Aboriginal participants from Nauiyu community were proactively involved in the fencing installation process from filling the concrete mixer to installing the fence posts. Kenny Page and James Parry were engaged in learning constructive skills on the solar + battery site to benefit their work experience.
The two trainees have gained further opportunities with Totem Fencing for other remote community sites,” said Richard Peter, Director at Totem Fencing.
Conergy and BMD Constructions were contracted to design and construct the Daly River solar array, while German company Qinous provided the battery system.
The $55 million Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) launched in 2014 and has commissioned solar facilities in its first ten remote communities. The rollout will continue through 2018 with ongoing testing and system performance analysis taking place into 2020.
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