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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Power and Water Corporation Indigenous Essential Services Pty Ltd


    Northern Territory

    ARENA Program

    Regional Australia’s Renewables

  • Start date

    17 July 2014

    End date

    31 May 2023

  • Project Partners
    Northern Territory Government


The NT Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) has transformed the delivery of electricity in remote off-grid communities throughout the Northern Territory.

Project innovation

The NT Solar Energy Transformation Program deployed medium and high penetration renewable energy systems to 26 remote communities in the Northern Territory.

Delivered through Power and Water’s subsidiary Indigenous Essential Services Pty Ltd, the project integrated 10 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) with existing diesel power stations in remote locations without compromising power quality and reliability.

The majority of system installations, totalling 9 MW, were designed to achieve 15 per cent diesel fuel displacement. A 1 MW high penetration system was installed at Daly River (Nauiyu), achieving about 50 per cent diesel fuel displacement.

The project demonstrated integration technologies such as energy storage, flexible diesel technology, advanced control systems and cloud forecasting. These advancements can be rolled out to the other sites in this project as each technology becomes viable.

SETuP was designed to create a platform for greater use of renewable energy in communities in the future.

The outcomes at Daly River will guide deployment of enabling technologies in other remote communities served by Power and Water as they become cost effective.


The SETuP team worked with remote communities to increase understanding of the benefits of solar/diesel hybrid systems, energy efficiency and measures to manage energy consumption.

The program generated and shared knowledge to assist others to deploy off-grid renewable energy solutions.

In response to SETuP, Power and Water is redesigning work practices and systems to accommodate the use of renewable energy systems as part of business as usual operations.

This transformation includes adapting Power and Water standard operating procedures to reflect the requirements of high penetration renewable systems.


Results to date include:

  • 10 MW of solar arrays successfully installed and commissioned in 25 remote communities
    medium contribution sites are on track to achieving an overall target of 15 per cent annual fuel savings
  • Power and Water is rolling out upgrades to low load capable diesel engines to further increase solar contribution
  • Daly River project has achieved 50 per cent annual fuel savings, with customers served solely from solar power for typically 12 hours per day, while maintaining service levels.
Last updated 20 June 2023


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