What did the Future Grid project aim to do?
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 was to outline a pathway to show options for 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 investigated the best use of existing infrastructure, complemented by new technologies. Future Grid was delivered through a series of innovative trials, models and investigations. Examples included establishing the first residential Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in the NT alongside a tariff trial and partnering with NT Public housing, a wind study, a commercial microgrid trial, and creation of dynamic models to model future scenarios. The outcomes and recommendations can now be viewed in the Roadmap to 2030.
Future Grid brought together a broad range of Project Partners to develop and deliver a systems-wide project that identified and addressed the various barriers to more renewables. Part of the 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 has been the Roadmap to 2030 report, which informs government policy and guides the implementation of recommended interventions in pursuit of the 2030 target.