Alice Springs faces complex challenges to increasing the amount of renewable energy in its power system. The barriers are mainly technical, regulatory and economic. Solutions can be found in these areas, as well as through community engagement. The ultimate aim of Future Grid is to outline a pathway to show how Alice Springs can achieve the Northern Territory Government target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and possibly beyond. However, there are financial limitations, so the project is investigating the best use of existing infrastructure, complemented by new technologies. Future Grid is delivered through a series of innovative trials, models and investigations. Examples include establishing the first residential Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in the NT alongside a tariff trial, a wind study, a commercial microgrid trial, and creation of dynamic models to model future scenarios.
Future Grid brings together a broad range of Project Partners to develop and deliver a systems-wide project that will assist in identifying and addressing the various barriers to more renewables. Part of its legacy will be continued collaboration between Project Partners, as well as an informed community which can advocate for meeting the NT’s renewable energy target and continuing the journey beyond that goal. A key deliverable of the project will be a Roadmap to 2030 report, which will inform government policy and guide the implementation of recommended interventions in pursuit of the 2030 target.