A Greener North Australia Trading Diesel Power for Solar Energy
The Daly River community in the Northern Territory will be less reliant on diesel thanks to a new project targeted at increasing solar penetration in remote towns and communities.
Australian Solar Institute (ASI) Executive Director Mark Twidell said ASI is providing $500,000 to the Northern Territoryâ€™s Power and Water Corporation to investigate ways to increase solar energy generated electricity in Daly River.
â€œIn partnership with the local community and Charles Darwin University, PWC will undertake a feasibility assessment and develop a Solar/Diesel Mini-Grid Handbook, paving the way for roll out across the Territory,â€ Mr Twidell said.
â€œThere are over 52 isolated diesel mini-grids throughout the Northern Territory, servicing remote Indigenous communities that could benefit from this project and solarâ€™s clean, readily available electricity.â€
Power and Water Corporation General Manager Remote Operations Darryl Day said it will aim to increase solar penetration on the Daly River grid through two mechanisms: generator optimisation and load management.
Through load management, we will work to show solar output can be matched to consumer demand in real time, increasing its attractiveness as an alternative to diesel.
Our learnings will be recorded in a Handbook that will help utilities to make informed project planning and design decisions.
Mr Twidell said mini-grid solar systems are often located in areas with optimal solar resources, and can provide reliable power at a price competitive with diesel.
â€œUltimately this project will reduce reliance on diesel generation, reduce remote community vulnerability to rising diesel fuel costs and improve energy security,â€ Mr Twidell said.
The Australian Solar Institute is a $150 million commitment by the Australian Government to develop photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. By 1 January 2013, ASI will join the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, part of the Australian Governmentâ€™s $17 billion commitment to renewable energy.
Source: www.australiansolarinstitute.com.audaly river, diesel generators, indigenous communities, mini grids, reliable power, solar output
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