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Alice Springs Future Grid

The Alice Springs Future Grid project will help transform the power system to support more renewable energy and help our town to meet the Northern Territory’s renewable energy target.

Our community relies on a plentiful, stable and affordable electricity supply. Future Grid will help to strengthen the reliability of the Alice Springs electricity grid in response to the community’s demand for clean energy.

ALEC is proud to be leading Future Grid’s community facing projects, working with households, schools and local battery installers.

Lessons learned during this two-year project will be transferable to other grids, helping to support Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future.

Our energy system is in transition.

In 2008, there were only two rooftop solar power systems in Alice Springs. Now in 2021, there are well over 3,000 rooftop systems!

On some days when there is a large amount of solar energy flowing into the network, it can create challenges for a small grid like Alice Springs.

Community involvement is essential as we move toward a grid of the future.  

Future Grid and the community

Future Grid, with partners including Jacana and Power and Water Corporation, will trial what is expected to be the Northern Territory’s first Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

The pilot will look at how a VPP - a network of solar powered homes with battery storage - can help keep the grid stable while increasing the amount of clean energy in the Alice Springs power system.

ALEC is the link between Future Grid and the community – engaging households, local battery installers and the broader public throughout the trial.

Trialling new VPP technology

A Virtual Power Plant uses sophisticated software to optimise the energy and power flow from solar PV and batteries to and from the grid on demand. VPPs can direct batteries to store or share energy in clever ways - benefiting the household, the grid and the wider community.

Solar Hub

Solar Hub will trial a connected fleet of solar PV and batteries in two neighbourhoods. Hubs have been chosen based on the high number of solar-powered households, on the same street, which share a single transformer and that are on the low-voltage network.

Solar Connect

Solar Connect will involve households from every suburb. In this town-wide VPP trial, participating households will share solar and battery power in ways that benefit the Alice Springs grid. In return, they will be offered a competitive solar feed-in-tariff, and receive a monthly credit on their electricity bill.

Solar-powered households with and without batteries are encouraged to sign up.

ALEC's Solar History

ALEC has a strong history of supporting solar energy in Alice Springs. In 2001, ALEC first posited Alice Springs as a solar city, and was an integral stakeholder in the bid to make Alice Springs a solar city as part of a Federal Government initiative. 

Today, ALEC is part of the collaborative Future Grid effort, deploying house­hold bat­ter­ies to spe­cif­ic areas of town, and working directly with the community toward a renewable energy future. 

For Future Grid enquiries, contact Hayley Michener [email protected]

About

Alice Springs Future Grid is led by the Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy, on behalf of Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA).

Intyalheme is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government. The Alice Springs Future Grid project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA's Advancing Renewables Program.

This project is also funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund – Microgrids Program.