The Northern Territory will make a big step towards its renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 on the back of a private sector investment by Australian renewables developer Tetris Energy in two large-scale solar projects.
Alongside the 25 MW Katherine Solar Farm, which was greenlit last October as the state’s largest solar farm, two 10 MW solar farms at Batchelor and Manton Dam will catapult the NT renewable energy share to 10% by the year’s end.
State-owned utility Jacana Energy and NT Solar Investments have entered into a power purchase agreement for the electricity and renewable energy certificates generated by the two farms.
Welcoming the opportunity to sell electricity to Jacana Energy from the two solar projects, Tetris Energy Director Frank Boland said the deal will be an important enabler in moving towards construction at the end of the wet season.
“Jacana Energy customers located all over the Darwin-Katherine network will receive the benefits of clean renewable electricity,“ he said, noting that the Tetris has collaborated with Infigen Energy to advance the development of the two solar farms.
The latest solar developments are part of the NT government’s plans to take its three grids to an installed total of 450 MW renewables by 2030, mostly solar PV, as envisaged in the Roadmap to Renewables Report released in 2017.
“The Territory Labor Government knows the NT can be the solar capital of Australia,” said Minister for Renewables and Essential Services, Dale Wakefield.
“That’s why we have invested in a $59 million joint investment with ARENA for the Solar SETuP program providing 10 MW of solar across 25 remote communities, $5 million into our Rooftop Solar in Schools program, $8.3 million in the 5 MW Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System and $4.5 million in our smart energy grants scheme.“
“With the Katherine Solar Farm and these projects announced today, that’s over $150 million in renewables investment by the Territory Labor Government.”
Construction of both projects is scheduled to last from March to September. Up to 70 local jobs will be supported during the construction phase.