ARENA and the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation (PWC) today launched two exciting resources that will help boost the use of solar/diesel hybrid power generation in remote off-grid communities where energy demand and costs are increasing.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the new handbook and modelling software were developed through a PWC research project in Daly River (NT) and supported by $460,000 funding from ARENA.
“Sharing the knowledge generated from this research is a vital step in delivering cost-effective renewable energy technologies to off-grid communities across Australia,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Many remote Australian communities rely on diesel generators that are expensive to run, with costs hard to forecast due to the volatility of fuel prices. Furthermore, delivering fuels long distances is costly, dangerous and subject to weather.”
“By presenting the many advantages of solar/diesel hybrid systems, these new resources will open the door to a more diverse energy mix for off-grid communities as well as large scale mining operations.”
PWC’s Remote Operations General Manager Jim Bamber said the project reflects a commitment to delivering cost-effective, reliable and safe electricity services to remote Indigenous communities.
PWC has already demonstrated its commitment to solar diesel projects in the Northern Territory.
“Through our eight solar/diesel mini-grids we are currently supplying power to 11 communities and we look forward to delivering further innovation in this area,” Mr Bamber said.
“The new handbook complements the modelling software, which was developed to evaluate the technical and financial performance of solar/diesel systems. Together, these resources provide increased investment certainty and offer a head start with power system planning and design.”
The modelling tool and the Solar/Diesel Mini-Grid Handbook draw on lessons learned during the Daly River Solar Research Project.