ARENA - Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP)

The Northern Territory (NT) Government through the Power and Water Corporation has partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to bring solar to remote Territory communities.

Power and Water’s SETuP has delivered a wide-scale rollout of 10MW of solar systems across 25 remote Aboriginal communities. The $59 million program, funded by ARENA and the NT Government, is expected to cut diesel use by around 94 million litres over the life of the solar panels.

Benefits of the SETuP program include:

  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • improved local air quality
  • reduced transport requirements
  • protection from diesel price escalation.

SETuP also helped to bring job opportunities to local Aboriginal people, engaging them throughout the construction process, and employing local workers to conduct flora and fauna surveys, fencing, installation and construction.

The program has also seen the installation of a large battery energy storage system at Nauiyu (Daly River). The systems installed at Nauiyu should result in a 50% reduction in diesel fuel use for power generation in the community. The system commenced operation at the end of March 2018.

At the completion of the project, each community power station will be operationally and technically ready to plug in more solar and storage as costs of renewable technologies fall over time.

Knowledge sharing is a key component of the program. Due to its geographic and technical scale SETuP has national significance as a model for remote power generation with learnings from this program applicable across utility, mining and government sectors.

For more information on this program including access to fact sheets, case studies, mini-grid handbook, and videos go to the PowerWater website.