The Northern Territory Government has targeted renewable energy in its 2021-22 Budget, allocating $2.8 million to help finance solar PV and battery storage systems for households and businesses and another $2 million to advance the delivery of clean electricity to remote communities across the Territory.
Chief Minister and Treasurer Michael Gunner revealed his government’s spending priorities earlier this week, including among them an extension to the Home and Business Battery Scheme which provides Territory homeowners and businesses with grants of up to $6000 to help fund the purchase of solar PV and battery storage systems.
The grants can be used to either install a solar PV system with an eligible battery or inverter, or install an eligible battery and inverter to complement an existing solar system.
Minister for Renewables and Energy Eva Lawler said the program helped households and businesses make the switch to renewable energy while also delivering stable, reliable and affordable power.
“We want Territorians to have access to the latest and best technology as we build a stronger and more resilient power system for Territory households and businesses,” she said.
“Budget 21-22 sees the Territory focus on renewables – supporting our grid and reaching our 50% target by 2030. We want clean and affordable power for all Territorians.
“Extending the Home and Business Battery scheme is one way this government is creating stability in our grid and creating more jobs for Territorians.”
Lawler said more than 700 households and businesses had already applied for grants during the first round of the scheme with more than 510 applications totalling more than $3 million approved. The total value of approved works is $10.1 million.
The government has also allocated $2 million in the Budget to advance the delivery of renewable energy to remote communities across the Territory.
Renewables, including solar PV systems, batteries and green hydrogen are set to replace diesel generators in 72 communities, building on the $6.6 million Renewable Remote Power Program and the $59 million Solar Energy Transformation Program that has already delivered 10 MW of solar generation to remote communities in the Territory.
The government said it will spend $2 million over the next two years securing land access near communities, assessing future power demand, and surveying transmission lines and other infrastructure already on-site.
“This is the preparatory work so that’s about talking to the land councils and other relevant parties,” Gunner said.
Energy companies are expected to invest about $400 million in the Territory to roll out and operate the renewable energy systems.
“Attracting private sector investment at this scale will establish the Territory as a leader in remote micro-grids technologies,” Gunner said.
The program is expected to be completed by 2030.
The NT government is aiming to deliver 50% of the Territory’s power using renewables by the end of the decade. Once converted from diesel to renewables, the communities will contribute 5% towards the target.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government will hand down its 2021-22 Budget on Tuesday and the energy sector will be hoping that spending decisions announced earlier this week are signs of good things to come.
On Monday the government announced it would provide $80 million for the construction of a gas-fired power station in New South Wales as part of the “gas-led recovery”. That was followed by the announcement that three commercial-scale hydrogen projects would receive $103 million in funding from the government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
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