24 Jul 2017
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Minister for Essential Services
The Territory Government today took another step to act on climate change and reduce the huge potential impacts for the Territory by announcing the commissioning of 3.325 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in ten remote Aboriginal communities.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner today met the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) team at the Ramingining facility to see the completed project.
“Investing in renewables means we are protecting our economy, our lifestyle, our quality of life and our unique and spectacular natural environment,” Mr Gunner said.
Greenhouse gas emissions from over one million litres of diesel fuel will be saved each year following the integration of the SETuP into the power supply of each community.
Mr Gunner said the SETuP sites would contribute to the Territory Labor Government’s renewable target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, by reducing emissions and creating a platform for greater use of solar in the future.
“The Territory’s natural environments are some of the most spectacular in the world and it is important we do our part to act on climate change and work towards our renewable target,” Mr Gunner said.
“Major economies around the world are increasing the use of renewable energy sources to avoid the economic, social and environmental implications associated with the use of fossil fuels – this is an exciting milestone to achieve for remote Aboriginal communities across the Territory.
“Smart communities realise that investing in renewable energy is good for the environment and for jobs – we are restoring trust in Government and creating jobs.”
Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy said SETuP will benefit the environment and community.
“SETuP facilities reduce the reliance on diesel by 15 per cent, which requires fewer fuel trucks on the road and provides a more secure energy supply,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Local jobs were created for Aboriginal rangers to conduct flora and fauna surveys and weed management, as well as land clearing and construction – we are boosting jobs to build safer, fairer and stronger communities – right across the Territory,” Mr McCarthy said.
Over 10,610 solar panels were installed to provide an average of 5,000 kWh/h per day to power over 570 households across the ten communities of Arlparra , Kintore, Nyirripi (Waite Creek), Kaltukatjara (Docker River), Mt Liebig, Areyonga, Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Maningrida and Ramingining.
SETuP is a $55 million program jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Territory Government, managed by Power and Water, with around $27 million from the NT Government.
Media contact: Emmanuelle Clarke 0428 497 154