Energy microgrid gets a boost in Alice Springs

A project that will boost renewable energy generation in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and deliver reliable power to nearby towns, has received a funding injection from the Australian Government.

The Alice Springs Future Grid project, led by Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy, aims to overcome barriers to generating renewable energy in the local electricity network and bring security and reliability to the grid for the benefit of 30,000 residents in Alice Springs and communities up to 130km away.

The $9.3 million project will address technical, regulatory, social and economic challenges with energy transition in the town’s isolated grid through a series of sub projects including:

  • a large-scale battery system
  • a residential battery trial for up to 50 customers, with batteries aggregated and controlled to support to the network
  • tariff reforms to investigate the commercial and other incentives required to encourage a change in consumer behaviour to facilitate higher uptake of household batteries with rooftop solar
  • a roadmap for how the Alice Springs electricity grid could operate on 50% renewables by 2030.

The Australian Government is providing $2.17 million toward the project through Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), with the total project cost expected to be $9.3 million.

This funding is in addition to the $3.19 million in funding awarded to the project as part of the Australian Government’s $50 million Regional and Remote Communities Microgrid Fund.

The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the government’s support will help address system security and reliability issues in Alice Springs and surrounding communities.

‘Alice Springs has long battled the energy challenges that come with being a remote Australian town and the government is committed to ensuring our regional communities have access to an affordable energy supply they can rely on,’ the Minister said.

‘Not only will this project lead to increased renewable energy adoption in Alice Springs, it will offer lessons for other remote locations facing similar energy challenges.’

For more information, see the Minister’s media release and the ARENA website.