This report presents an analysis of the operational performance of the 10 megawatts of utility-scale solar arrays installed across 25 remote Northern Territory communities under the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP). The report covers performance for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, during which all of the program’s solar arrays were operational.
As the largest isolated off-grid solar program in Aboriginal communities, the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) is a world-first. Power and Water Corporation has been incorporating solar energy technology into our business for the past thirty years. Through the successful delivery of SETuP we have built on that experience and transformed the way we supply energy to remote communities with hybrid solar/diesel power generation becoming an integral focus.
SETuP has seen the rollout of 10 megawatts (MW) of solar to benefit 25 communities serviced by our subsidiary, Indigenous Essential Services. The rollout commenced in 2016 and was completed with the final array commissioned in March 2019. The $59 million program was co-funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It includes $27.5 million financed through the Northern Territory Government.
This is the second knowledge sharing performance report for SETuP, covering the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. The report builds on the first performance report for the period July 2018 to June 2019, and the reader is encouraged to refer to that document for additional explanatory material.
The SETuP performance outcomes for the period include achieving 15.1% renewable contribution for the 24 medium contribution communities, just over the design target of 15%. There was considerable variation between communities, with the result ranging from 9.9% at Bulman to 29.0% annual solar contribution for Nyirripi. For these communities the arrays operate alongside the existing diesel power station with no additional supporting technologies required.