22 November 2023

Construction advances on Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Solar farm

Aerial view of the Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project. Photo: 5B.

A remote Tiwi Islands community of 2000 will soon have 50 per cent of its power requirements provided by renewable energy after work started on the Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project.

The work is being overseen by Territory company 5B, while the NT Government is investing $6.1 million into the project.

So far, earthworks and the installation of cyclone-resilient solar arrays have been completed. When finished in 2024, the project will deliver 1.2 megawatts of additional solar photovoltaic power to the community and will have a Battery Energy Storage System with a capacity of 3 megawatt hours.

The government says the project is an important step forward in delivering advanced renewable energy for Wurrumiyanga, changing the way power is generated across communities. It follows the recent commissioning of a renewable project to provide 83 per cent of the power requirements of the remote community of Titjikala near Alice Springs.

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Territory Minister for Renewables Nicole Manison said the Wurrumiyanga project is an important step towards the government’s target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 with an average of 70 per cent renewables in communities supplied by Indigenous Essential Services.

“We will keep doing the hard work as we push towards our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050,” she said.

“A renewables future is now one step closer for the Wurrumiyanga community and we look forward to extending the lessons learnt from this project to other remote Territory communities.”

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Member for Arafura Manuel Brown added, “It is great to see our largest community on Bathurst Island driving down emissions and creating stable, reliable energy in line with the rest of the Territory”.

“Soon, we will see less and less communities around the NT rely on diesel-powered generators through Territory Labor’s remote power system strategy, a strategy which is changing lives in our most remote communities.”

5B Chief Strategy Officer Nicole Kuepper-Russell said, “Our latest generation high-wind resilient 5B Maverick – wind rated up to 72 metres per second – is specifically designed for cyclone-prone regions like the Tiwi Islands”.

“It is also fast to deploy in remote regions – a deployment team of four unfolded the 1.2 MW 5B solar farm on Bathurst Island in just four days, with mechanical installation, including unpacking, staging, cabling, the extra anchoring required for wind region C and clean up, taking less than two weeks.

“We’re working to replicate this rapid deployment model across other remote communities in the Territory, and we welcome the government’s support in accelerating renewable energy projects and investments.”

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