Northern Territory large-scale solar generation

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Opportunity for renewable generation of energy for domestic and export uses
Priority Initiative
Location
Northern Territory
Geography
Developing regions and northern Australia
Category
Energy Transformation
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Medium term (5-10 years)
Proposed By
Sun Cable
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
Northern Territory large-scale solar generation

Opportunity

The Northern Territory has a comparative advantage in producing renewable energy, due to its vast land mass, low population density, solar resource and proximity to energy-intense markets in the Indo-Pacific region.

There is an opportunity to harness this advantage by developing large-scale, dispatchable renewable energy generation in the Northern Territory, with transmission infrastructure to supply domestic and export markets.

In light of the planned retirement of some Northern Territory gas-powered generators, large-scale solar energy generation and storage may provide an opportunity to enhance generation for the Darwin–Katherine Integrated System. This could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce electricity prices, which are currently subsidised by the Northern Territory Government.

There is also an opportunity to export this renewable energy to South East Asian markets, such as Singapore.

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that Australia could develop new industries based on affordable and abundant new sources of energy, including large-scale solar and wind.

Proposed initiative

Potential options to address the initiative include large-scale solar generation and storage, coupled with appropriate transmission infrastructure, to service domestic and potentially overseas markets.

This opportunity is contingent on further investigation and market testing.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).