Country Solar NT came up with a custom designed 100 kW system to supplement traditional diesel generating systems for the sprawling Tipperary Stations property 160 kilometres south of Darwin.
Vast distances, remote locations, limited and costly infrastructure, wet season transport disruptions, the cost of diesel, fuel storage issues … these are Northern Territory challenges for which off-grid solar is an ideal solution.
They are driving an increasing take-up of off-grid solar for rural properties, remote settlements, processing and packing plants, mining camps, isolated homes and the like across the Territory. The trend is accelerating as more people and organisations become aware of solar advantages.
Interest in off-grid solar arrays is being boosted by:
- The falling costs of solar panels and components.
- The rapidly improving efficiencies and falling prices of battery storage.
- The fact that solar systems are location independent – you can put them anywhere the sun shines and they can be designed to suit any situation.
- The fact that off-grid solar requires minimal maintenance and can be expected to keep reliably delivering electricity for 20 to 30 years.
- The fact that the system NEVER has to be refueled – the energy it delivers keeps coming FREE from the sun.
- The fact that the initial capital cost is typically way less than you likely would have to pay to extend power lines and for connection fees should you be distant from a grid supply.
- The fact that solar is more efficient in the Territory than just about anywhere else in Australia – we have the benefit of Australia’s sunniest regions.
In short off-grid solar or Stand Alone Power Systems (SAPS) provide the perfect answer to providing efficient, abundant and less costly electricity for many of the Territory’s remote rural enterprises and communities.
Maintenance requirements are reduced along with operational and re-supply hassles, up-front costs, and on-going fuel costs.
Incentives Reduce Up-front Costs
Your installation costs can be offset by Government incentives. For commercial enterprises, grants of up to $20,000 under the NT Government’s Smarter Business Solutions Program as well as Federal Clean Energy incentives, typically worth tens of thousands of dollars.
These are among the reasons why the giant 3,800 square kilometer Tipperary Stations Group called in Country Solar NT to install a 100kW solar system on its property 160 kilometers south of Darwin.
Rather than battery storage the managers called on Country Solar NT to come up with a design that maximized the efficiency of the solar input as part of the Station’s overall energy mix.
The solution they came up with supplements the Station’s traditional diesel generating capacity and saves Tipperary around 200 liters of fuel per day! See https://www.tipperarygroup.com.au/clean-energy/
You don’t have to be a Tipperary Station or a big mining company to consider off-grid solar – a purpose built Stand Alone Power System designed for your remote area solar electricity needs is no longer out of reach.
With today’s advanced solar equipment and batteries, Stand Alone power systems can run your whole house or your enterprise, and then some. And they can be installed at an affordable price.
For a household solar system including battery storage (currently the most expensive component) you can expect a payback period of around 10 years. For all the years after that your power from the sun is FREE.
Typical stand-alone off-grid systems are hybrids, comprising a solar panels array, inverters, batteries, controllers and monitors, together with a modest back-up diesel generator to provide supplementary power during extended periods without sun.
By the way, you don’t have to be out in the middle of nowhere for a Stand Alone Power System to make sense – it can be equally viable for a rural block close to town if you don’t have ready access to a grid connection.
The Samsung system featured in the video (right) combines a solar PV battery inverter and a lithium-ion battery. It was the first of its kind for the Northern Territory, providing an innovative off-grid for a remote area installation. We stay on top of new technologies sowe can bring you the best
Rooftop solar array by Country Solar NT for Tipperary Station
To discuss how an off-grid solar system can meet your power needs please call
(08) 8998 9609
We will arrange a chat with our Stand-Alone Power Systems experts Jeremy Hunt or Thomas Wearne
Specialist Custom Design for Off-grid Solar Systems
Country Solar NT is well equipped to deliver innovative design solutions for remote installations – it has the experience of founder Jeremy Hunt and it has the systems design skills of highly regarded specialist Solar Project Engineer Thomas Wearne.
Thomas graduated with honors from Murdoch University with majors in Electrical Power Engineering and Renewable Energy Engineering before joining Country Solar NT in 2015.
For his honors thesis he designed a stand-alone power system with battery bank and diesel generator back-up housed in a container powered from a ground-mounted PV array and with software and monitoring systems to maximize its efficiency.
His aim was to create an ideal portable off-grid power source for remote applications. Now he is applying those skills in the Territory.
Thomas enjoys coming up with innovative, expert design solutions for Outback customers and he and Country Solar NT are working on more exciting off-grid projects.
Territory shows the way with Remote Off-grid Solar roll out
NT Essential Services Minister, Gerry McCarthy, inspects the Daly River off-grid solar site.
Off-grid solar arrays will soon become routine in The Northern Territory’s remote communities, mining camps, cattle stations, agri-businesses, resorts and bush homesteads over coming years.
The advantages are so great that the transition is inevitable across most of the northern half of Australia and in the dry hinterland where the sunshine is so plentiful and the provision of affordable, reliable power is so challenging.
The NT is already showing the way with an on-going rollout by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the NT Government of a $59 million program providing off-grid solar systems to 28 remote communities across the Territory from Finke River to the Tiwi Islands.
The program is providing 10 MW of solar power with PV panels and batteries, supplementing existing Power and Water diesel generating systems, all with provision for future expansion.
Known as the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), the project is reducing reliance on diesel, cutting costs, improving power reliability and yielding an environmental dividend. The program launched in 2014 and had commissioned solar facilities in its first 16 remote communities by August 2018.
At Daly River a pioneering Energy Storage System is allowing the integration of solar energy in an isolated grid, proving remote Australia can reliably move to ‘solar only’ power during daylight hours and reduce reliance on diesel by as much as 50%.
This is being achieved through a 2MWh lithium-ion battery charged by 3,200 solar panels generating 1MW of solar energy. The installation can provide half of the town’s energy needs with annual fuel savings of up to 400,000 litres.
The off-grid SETuP program ranks as the Northern Territory’s biggest solar energy project and installation work continues at the remaining remote communities to be included. Overall the program is expected to cut diesel consumption across the communities by at least 15%.
This ground-breaking program demonstrates the potential of off-grid solar as a viable solution to remote area power needs. If you or your organization are a proud part of the Outback then maybe it’s the right answer for you too. Country Solar NT can assess your needs and options and provide expert advice.