Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Alice Springs on the road to renewable energy

Member for Braitling Dale Wakefield has today heralded a new era of transition to renewable energy for the Northern Territory, with the announcement of a new 5MW energy storage system for Alice Springs.

Ms Wakefield said the NTG-owned Territory Generation’s new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) would be one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia.

“This a game-changer for the future of renewable energy and a huge win for Alice Springs,” Ms Wakefield said.

“The technology being deployed by Territory Generation is cutting edge and we hope it heralds what could represent similar solutions in other areas of the Territory.

“Although this system is primarily aimed at making the existing system more efficient and reliable, it is the same technology that will allow future renewables growth.

“This is just one solution within the energy generation sector in the Territory and we hope this project will provide proof of concept for other generation sites that will ultimately benefit Territorians.”

Modelling determined that the total cost of the wider Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System Project – at $8.3m – would, on a simple payment basis, be recouped within 4-5 years due to the efficiencies and savings realised.

The BESS will help drive down the cost of producing electricity and support a transition to renewable energy.

It will be used to provide improved power generation reliability for the region, by assisting in smoothing the output of Territory Generation’s solar power during cloud cover events.

Territory Generation CEO Tim Duignan has announced Vector Energy as its preferred supplier to install the 5MW BESS, which is primarily being installed for generation stabilisation, and is timed to coincide with the shift from the ageing Ron Goodin Power Station to the upgraded Owen Springs Power Station at the end of 2017.

“There is significant expectation from industry, business and the community in Alice Springs to increase solar penetration on the grid, however without storage to smooth the solar output, there is limited opportunity to integrate further solar without impacting on grid stability,” Mr Duignan said.

“Reliability of base-load power is a major issue in Australia at the moment and these new technologies are an important step to ensuring reliability in a controlled transition to renewables. Vector Energy’s comprehensive solution will integrate into our existing system and is one of the reasons we have chosen them.  Ultimately it will assist in supporting the system to be able to increase the solar profile in Alice Springs.”

“The system to be installed has the ability to augment the storage capacity with further batteries in the future, which is a game changer for the energy generation industry in the NT,” Mr Duignan said.

The Energy Storage System is expected to be complete by late 2017.

Media contact – Aimee Cadan 0400 277 244
Territory Generation CEO – Tim Duignan 0407 756 324