Showcase - Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP)

Case studies of ARENA’s work in 2017-18 are provided in this section to demonstrate our purpose, performance and impact.

Case study
Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP)
  • Lead organisation:

    Power and Water Corporation

  • Location:


  • ARENA funding:

    $35.0 million

  • Total project cost:

    $62.5 million

  • ARENA investment priority:

    Delivering secure and reliable electricity

  • Tech:


Australia’s Northern Territory has many disparate and remote communities spread apart by vast distances. As with all cities and towns they each have their own energy needs. However, many of these communities rely on diesel for electricity generation that is costly and can be difficult to transport.

The Solar Energy Transformation Project (SETuP) offers two dozen of the NT’s most remote communities, which are dependent on diesel generation, a viable solution to these issues by using renewable energy to displace current fuel usage. This lowers the fuel costs of each community, encourages economic activity and creates a greater sense of energy independence.

Funded by ARENA in partnership with the Northern Territory Government’s Power and Water Corporation, the project is progressively integrating 10 megawatts of solar PV with existing diesel power stations located in remote areas around the NT, without compromising power quality and reliability. Once complete, the project will have installed more than 30,000 solar panels and reduced the communities’ reliance on diesel by 3.5 million litres each year.

The majority of installations will see 15 per cent of diesel generation replaced by renewables. However the SETuP project in Daly River (Nauiyu) has achieved a much larger proportion of solar energy, displacing 50 per cent of the community’s diesel generation and demonstrating what is possible for other communities.

A strong focus on community engagement throughout the roll-out of SETuP is providing valuable knowledge regarding the benefits that renewable energy can bring to remote communities.