The remote indigenous community of Daly River, south of Darwin, is now officially running on solar only during the day, after the installation of 1MW of PV alongside a 2MWh lithium-ion battery system.
As we reported here in August last year, the formerly mostly diesel powered Daly River Nauiyu community is among the first in the Northern Territory to make the shift to solar and storage, as part of the $55 million Territory’s Solar Energy Transformation Program – or SETuP.
It is also the only of the SETuP projects – which are led by NT utility Power and Water Corporation, and jointly funded by NT government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – to incorporate battery storage.
The system was designed and built by Conergy and BMD Constructions, and the battery prvided by German company Qinous.
Power and Water sid the battery was storing excess solar energy as well as managing and stabilising the grid, but most importantly allowing the diesel generators to be switched off completely during the day.
All up, it says the Daly River system is now capable of powering half the community’s energy needs with solar, and is saving on the cost – both financial and environmental – of burning 400,000 litres of diesel a year.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to run on ‘solar only’ power generation for the first time in a remote community,” said Power and Water’s chief Michael Thomson.
“For too long Northern Territory remote communities have had to rely on diesel generators that are expensive to run and subject to volatile fuel prices.
“This project demonstrates the enormous advantages of solar/diesel hybrid systems in delivering cost-effective, reliable and safe power to remote locations.”
The project has also harnessed the skills of the local Malak Malak Aboriginal Rangers, and Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation undertook training and activities such as flora surveys, clearing and fencing and minor civil works.
Totem Fencing worked closely with Ironbark and locally owned Aboriginal business Piening Contracting won the tender for clearing and civil works.
The $59 million SETuP scheme will ultimately integrate a further 9MW in other remote locations across the NT.
This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.