The Solar Energy Transformation Program managed by Northern Territory network Power and Water has completed and commissioned 10 tranche one solar installations.

The program has delivered the first phase of the wide-scale rollout of 10MW of solar systems across 10 of 28 remote aboriginal communities to result in 15% of diesel savings.

Completion of tranche one of the program will generate 3.325MW at 10 remote Aboriginal communities via 10,000 solar panels to save over one million litres of fuel per year.

The $55 million program is jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Northern Territory government, saving 94 million litres of diesel over the lifetime of the program.

“The completion of tranche one is on the trajectory to transform the way energy is supplied with hybrid solar and diesel power generation,” said Power and Water CEO Michael Thomson.

“The state of the art installation of integrated electricity supply will reduce emissions and local pollution with fewer fuel trucks and barges visiting the communities.”

Power and Water’s project management involves a strong commitment to local community engagement throughout the pre- and post-construction process, with Aboriginal locals engaged in undertaking flora and fauna surveys, fencing installation and construction.

Contractor Territoria Civil John Holland employed 16 locals during the rollout of the solar installation.

“We aimed to engage as many locals as possible,” said Territoria Civil general manager Robert Wilson. “Over 12 months we transported 10,000 solar panels by road to the sites to install until fully commissioned.”