Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Solar

Defence Force’s largest solar farm online in NT

The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) biggest solar farm has been switched on at Robertson Barracks in Darwin, boosting the military’s shift to renewable energy.

The 10-megawatt (MW) solar farm consists of over 27,000 solar panels and will supply up to 40 per cent of Robertson Barracks’ energy needs.

Matt Thistlethwaite, Federal Assistant Minister for Defence, said the project demonstrates defence’s commitment to cleaner energy and improved energy resilience.

“Defence is playing its role in accelerating the transition to clean energy, increasing resilience and reducing emissions across Defence bases,” Thistlethwaite said.

“The Robertson Barracks solar farm shows how Defence is partnering with industry to deliver renewable energy, improving energy security and reducing emissions across the Defence estate.

“The Defence estate plays a critical role in supporting ADF operational readiness and having a safe and maintained estate is integral to capability and supporting ADF members who live, work and train on base.”

Excess solar power from the project will also be fed into Darwin’s electricity grid, providing cheap, renewable energy to local households and businesses.

The Robertson Barracks solar farm was delivered under a power purchase agreement, generating savings on electricity costs for Defence.

It follows the launch of another 3.2MW solar farm at RAAF Base Darwin in January as part of the Renewable Energy and Energy Security Program.

The project created hundreds of jobs for local workers and tradespeople in Darwin during construction.

Thistlethwaite said maintaining defence infrastructure is crucial for supporting ADF operational readiness and capability.

“This is the second solar farm that I’ve opened here in Darwin…But this one is three times bigger,” he said.

“It can power about 1800 homes in the local community, and will reduce about 6100 tonnes of carbon pollution in the local atmosphere in its first year alone.”

The solar farm build comes after the government announced $24 million for critical upgrades to Robertson Barracks and Howard Springs South earlier this year.

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