Jointly funded by the Northern Territory government and managed by NT Power and Water, the $59 million Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) is entering its second stage of construction. 17 remote communities residing in the Tiwi islands will receive reliable, clean and cost effective energy from solar PV arrays under the program – demonstrating that PV is not only better for the environment, but outcompetes diesel generation at the remote sites.
SETuP is also supported by ARENA, under a $31.5 million grant.
Executing Tranche Two of SETuP was awarded to Darwin based construction company Territoria Civil.
This program follows last year’s Tranche One under which 3.325 MW of solar PV into diesel power systems for Aboriginal communities.
When it became operational, the 10 systems Tranche One became some of the first in the Northern Territory to use solar for its energy generation.
In the Daly River community, alongside 1 MW of PV, a 2 MWh of lithium-ion storage was added. This allowed the community to go ‘solar only’ during daylight hours.
With Tranche Two a further 5.6 MW of PV will be installed at 17 Indigenous communities. The solar will be installed alongside diesel generators at 15 of the sites.
When Tranche Two is finished, the SETuP project will be provide a total of 10 MW of solar PV, making it one of the largest such initiatives globally.
“This project demonstrates how delivery of cost effective, renewable energy can be employed to provide reliable power to remote communities, where both energy demand and costs are high,” said Power and Water Chief Executive Michael Thomson.