Modular tech has Territory solar and storage project on fast track


Construction has commenced on the Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project which will deliver 1.2 MW of additional PV and a 3 MWh battery energy storage system for the small town of Wurrumiyanga and already the Northern Territory (NT) government is eyeing completion.

The NT government said the facility at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, part of the Tiwi Islands about 80 kilometres northwest of Darwin, is expected to begin operations early next year with the installation of the prefabricated solar arrays provided by clean technology innovator 5B now complete.

Sydney-headquartered modular solar array manufacturer 5B said a team of four workers took just four days to deploy 1.2 MW of the company’s prefabricated Maverick system.

5B Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Kuepper-Russell said the project utilises the company’s latest generation high-wind resilient Maverick solar array. With a wind rating of up to 72 metres per second, the system has been specifically designed for cyclone-prone regions like the Tiwi Islands.

“It is also fast to deploy in remote regions,” Kuepper-Russell said. “A deployment team of four unfolded the 1.2 MW 5B solar farm on Bathurst Island in just four days, with mechanical installation, including unpacking, staging, cabling, the extra anchoring required for wind region C and clean up, taking less than two weeks.”

The solar array is part of the $6.1 million (USD 3.99 million) Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project which is providing an upgrade for the community’s energy system which includes aging diesel infrastructure and dated solar technology.

The NT government said the updated off-grid power plant will displace some of Wurrumiyanga’s current diesel-generated power supply with renewables. It is expected that the percentage of renewable energy delivered to the community of about 2,000 will increase to almost 50%.

NT Renewables Minister Nicole Manison said the project is an important part of the government’s renewables targets and will help inform other clean energy projects in the Territory.

“This is an important step towards the Territory government achieving our target of 50% renewables by 2030, which includes an average of 70% renewables in communities supplied by Indigenous Essential Services,” she said.

“We look forward to extending the lessons learnt from this project to other remote Territory communities.”

Titjikala’s off-grid power system includes a 400 kW solar array coupled with a 970 kWh battery.

Image: Power and Water Corp

The progress at Wurrumiyanga comes after it was confirmed that the NT community of Titjikala had achieved a clean energy milestone with solar-powered renewables providing 83% of the remote town’s energy requirements in September.

The NT government said Titjikala, about 130 kilometres south of Alice Springs and home to 200 residents, was solely powered by renewable energy for an average of 20 hours per day during the month.

Titjikala has a 400 kW solar array, integrated with a 970 kWh battery energy storage system.
It is one of 25 communities that were part of our Solar Energy Transformation Program that integrated 10 MW of solar in remote communities to transition to a renewable energy future and reduce reliance on diesel fuel.

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