The Australian Department of Defence is turning rapidly to renewables energy, with a new tender calling for a total of 12.5MW of solar for its Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory and the RAAF base in Darwin.
Defence is seeking a 9.2MW solar PV array at the Robertson Barracks about 15kms east of the Darwin CBD and and a 3.2MW array at the RAAF base, also in Darwin.
Both installations will be located on site, with the department to strike a power purchase agreement with the winning tender, and the solar output to be used at the bases themselves rather than exported to the local grid.
The move follows a call for a smaller installation of 1.2MW of solar at a crucial communications base near Geraldton in Western Australia last month that was its first significant move into solar.
This is a bigger scale and more are planned as part of a major Defence push into renewables.
The goal, the tender documents say, is to use solar PV is to reduce electricity costs, increase energy security, and reduce emissions.
And it wants to do the same thing at numerous other sites in the Northern Territory and elsewhere.
“Defence is the Commonwealth’s largest energy user and landholder, positioning Defence uniquely to be able to integrate renewable energy on its vast Estate,” the documents say,
“Defence has conducted an Estate Renewable Energy Assessment and a Detailed Renewable Energy Assessment, which has identified multiple Defence sites in the Northern Territory with Solar Photovoltaic (PV) array potential.”