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Key contract awarded in Tiwi Islands clean energy push

Giovanni Torre -

A renewable energy future is one step closer for the Tiwi Islands with a design and construct tender for a pilot program in Wurrumiyanga awarded to Circular Solutions.

The Northern Territory government is investing $8.6 million over four years towards the Renewable Remote Power Program - including $6.1 million towards the Wurrumiyanga Solar Infill and Energy Storage Pilot Project.

Circular Solutions will replace some of the current diesel generated power supply with renewable technology, with works expected to be completed by April next year.

Wurrimuyanga is operating some solar technology and the government's investment will "significantly increase" the energy generated from solar, with the installation of additional solar PV panels and a new battery energy storage system.

The project will add 1.1 megawatts of additional solar PV and a Battery Energy Storage System of about 3 megawatt hours. It is expected that the percentage of renewable energy delivered to the community will increase to almost 50 per cent.

Minister for Renewables and Energy Selena Uibo said Wurrumiyanga is "an incredible place, both for its people and beautiful country".

"This renewable energy project will help to protect and preserve it and ensure future generations can continue to thrive with help from solar energy," she said.

"I am proud that the Territory Labor Government is delivering this important project and changing the way power is generated in our communities for a cleaner, greener Territory."

The NT government is also investing $2 million over the next two years to advance the delivery of clean and reliable electricity to remote communities across the Territory.

So far the government investment has seen a framework to deliver renewable energy systems to the 73 remote communities supplied by Indigenous Essential Services (IES), including opportunities for innovative technologies such as hydrogen.

Work is also progressing on the detailed analysis of each IES community to determine the best renewable energy development pathway

The Territory government aims to hit a target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, which includes a 70 per cent target in all communities supplied by IES.

Renewable investments in remote power system services can lead to diesel cost savings and deliver substantial reductions in emissions as diesel is replaced, as well as generating local jobs.

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said renewables play a key role in unlocking private investment and creating local jobs.

"We will keep doing the hard work as we push towards our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050," she said.

"A renewables future is now one step closer for the Wurrumiyanga community and we look forward to the lessons learnt from this project being extended to other remote Territory communities."

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