Northern Territory solar power systems for remote indigenous communities

May 13, 2015

A huge challenge for remote communities in Australia is gaining reliable access to sources of electricity. Given the remoteness of these communities it is often uneconomical to connect to the national grid to gain access to a supply of electricity. As a result, remote communities have in the past been completely reliant on energy sources such as diesel generators which are prohibitively expensive to run.

In more recent years, however, the benefits of solar power have become increasingly obvious for off-grid remote communities and particularly remote indigenous communities. In the Northern Territory, solar power systems have been installed and connected to existing diesel generators to create a hybrid system. The result is a greatly reduced reliance on expensive diesel generators and a significantly reduced cost for electricity for these communities.

A hybrid solar power system works by integrating photovoltaics into an existing diesel system to reduce fuel costs and establish an efficient supply of electricity. Photovoltaics (PV) is the method of creating direct current electricity from solar energy via solar panels which capture light from the sun’s rays. The light is converted into an electric current, that is, electricity. This electricity is then stored in batteries as part of the system for use when it is required.

The roll-out of these hybrid solar power systems has also provided remote indigenous communities with new and expanded employment opportunities for community members and with the dramatic fall in the cost of solar PV infrastructure, the use of solar power systems is only going to continue to increase and the environment and conditions in the remote regions of the Northern Territory are perfect for solar power system use. Territory Solar are proud to be involved in the establishment of solar power systems in the Northern Territory.