System Design

The System Design work stream will help to ensure the Northern Territory’s electricity systems continue to provide reliable and secure power at least cost as the proportion of renewable energy generation increases to meet the renewable energy target.

Key Initiatives

  • Future proof the electricity supply networks by establishing the required technical design characteristics to achieve the target at least cost to government whilst maintaining security
    and reliability of supply to consumers
  • Support the research and development of technologies and systems, suitable for the Northern Territory, that facilitate optimal integration of renewable energy into the networks.


Develop validated dynamic network model. Related to the Roadmap to Renewables report enabling action 8(a).

Completion of the model for each of the regions will provide the information required to:

  • test and evaluate the impact of new generation at any connection node within the existing systems
  • optimise the process of connection and approval for renewable energy projects
  • identify the best locations and optimal levels of renewable energy integration on the current systems
  • provide consistent and accurate information for establishing the technical requirements for connection to the network
  • identify system upgrades required to facilitate increased levels of renewable energy onto the network.

Reliability Standard Consultation Paper

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the reliability standards for the Regulated Power Systems.
Read more

Complete detailed investigations, including technical and market modelling, to provide advice on the optimum pathway, asset mix and system upgrades required for the integration of renewable energy to achieve the target. Related to the Roadmap to Renewables report enabling actions 4(a), 4(b), 4(c), 9(a), 9(b), 9(c), 10(a), and 10(c).

Establishing the system design options and least-cost pathways for integration of renewable energy will assist government to make cost effective decisions on asset replacement and determine an appropriate mix of assets which support increased renewable energy connected to the system.

Provide information to help government plan for system upgrades to expand the rollout of renewable energy, including the potential for upgrading the transmission line between Darwin and Katherine to facilitate greater investment South of Darwin.

Investigate potential opportunities to access Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding for the installation of energy storage solutions that support renewable energy integration in remote

Energy storage supports increased penetration of renewable energy by helping to balance electricity supply with demand where energy from renewable energy can be stored and dispatched as needed. The use of energy storage on Northern Territory electricity grids will be required to ensure least cost and reliability of supply in achieving the target.

Investigate cooling systems as an alternative energy storage technology. Related to the Roadmap to Renewables report enabling action 8(g).

Cooling requirements in the Northern Territory account for a significant proportion of consumed electrical energy, identifying efficient alternatives to provide this service when solar is not available will help to reduce demand during peak periods.

Charles Darwin University to undertake research and identify opportunities for renewable energy suitable for the Territory.

The Charles Darwin University is undertaking three distinct research projects aimed at supporting the uptake of renewable energy, including:

  • investigating the use of biofuel as part of a hybrid power generation system in the NT
  • development of predictive maintenance technology for optimising maintenance and procurement for remote hybrid mini-grids
  • researching household and business behaviours around photovoltaic uptake.

Centre for Appropriate Technology to develop a publicly available, interactive web-based renewable energy resource database.  Related to the Roadmap to Renewables report enabling action 8(g).

The database will provide a reliable baseline on renewable energy resources which will help to reduce an investment risk associated with funding renewable energy in the Territory.

Desert Knowledge Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Renewable Energy – the ‘Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy’ established. Related to the Roadmap to Renewables report enabling action 8(b).

Builds on the existing capability in Alice Springs as a solar hub. The Centre’s core functions include knowledge sharing, community education and engagement, establishing industry partnerships and supporting renewable energy commercialisation.