Project Partners

Along with a huge amount of back­ground work, the Alice Springs Future Grid project was devel­oped through two major work­shops: the ARE­NA Alice Springs A‑Lab held in Novem­ber 2018, and a Future Grid work­shop, also held at Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia in July 2019. The par­tic­i­pants in the sec­ond work­shop are fea­tured in the ban­ner image of this page. When a series of sub-projects was defined, it became clear a num­ber of organ­i­sa­tions would be required to deliv­er the broad­er Future Grid project. These organ­i­sa­tions are list­ed below. In addi­tion to those named, Future Grid engaged with a num­ber of organ­i­sa­tions for spe­cif­ic prod­ucts and ser­vices. Future Grid acknowl­edges the valu­able insights of all Part­ners and ser­vice providers. 

It should also be acknowl­edged that our fun­ders pro­vid­ed input and advice, pri­mar­i­ly through gov­er­nance struc­tures. Future Grid was fund­ed by the Aus­tralian Renew­able Ener­gy Agency (ARE­NA), the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Depart­ment of Indus­try, Sci­ence, Ener­gy and Resources (DIS­ER) through the Region­al and Remote Com­mu­ni­ties Reli­a­bil­i­ty Fund (RRCRF) Micro­grids pro­gram and the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry gov­ern­ment through its seed fund­ing of the Intyal­heme Cen­tre for Future Energy. 

Con­sor­tium Mem­bers and Sub-project Leads

The fol­low­ing organ­i­sa­tions were the major deliv­ery part­ners of Alice Springs Future Grid, either as Con­sor­tium Mem­bers (DKRI, DKA, Ekisti­ca, Ter­ri­to­ry Gen­er­a­tion, Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion) or as sub-project leads (Arid Lands Envi­ron­ment Cen­tre and Jacana Ener­gy). CSIRO is the pro­jec­t’s knowl­edge shar­ing part­ner. It should be not­ed that Con­sor­tium Mem­bers Ekisti­ca and Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion also lead sub-projects. 

Alice Springs Future Grid

Alice Springs Future Grid is a whole of sys­tems project con­sid­er­ing how Alice Springs can achieve 50 per cent renew­able ener­gy by 2030. The project recog­nis­es that in the future the roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties of stake­hold­ers in the elec­tric­i­ty sys­tem will be dif­fer­ent from those in place today. Future Grid is seek­ing to map out what these poten­tial roles, respon­si­bil­i­ties and tech­ni­cal capa­bil­i­ties will be. 

Intyal­heme Centre for Future Energy

The Intyal­heme Cen­tre for Future Ener­gy (pro­nounced In-char-lum) is lead­ing the deliv­ery of the Alice Springs Future Grid project, on behalf of DKA.

Intyal­heme is a flag­ship project of Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia. It was estab­lished with $5m seed fund­ing from the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Gov­ern­ment, and a man­date to coor­di­nate rel­e­vant agen­cies towards the NT’s 50% renew­able ener­gy tar­get by 2030. Intyal­heme has robust gov­er­nance frame­works, oper­at­ing as a con­sor­tium led by Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia (DKA), Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion (PWC), Charles Dar­win Uni­ver­si­ty (CDU), Ekisti­ca, and the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Gov­ern­ment (NTG). Intyal­heme has a for­mal Knowl­edge Shar­ing MoU with ARE­NA to dis­sem­i­nate renew­able ener­gy knowl­edge across the NT.

Desert Knowledge Australia

Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia (DKA) is a not-for-prof­it statu­to­ry cor­po­ra­tion of the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry, estab­lished in 2003 to encour­age learn­ing, socioe­co­nom­ic devel­op­ment, research, and envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty in Cen­tral Aus­tralia. DKA is com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to build a stronger and more con­nect­ed desert and remote Aus­tralia. DKA is the land­lord of the Desert Knowl­edge Precinct, and its pri­ma­ry oper­a­tions include ful­fill­ing that respon­si­bil­i­ty, as well as fos­ter­ing its two flag­ship projects; Codes 4 Life and the Intyal­heme Cen­tre for Future Ener­gy. The fund­ing from the Aus­tralian Government’s Region­al and Remote Com­mu­ni­ties Reli­a­bil­i­ty Fund – Micro­grids pro­gram was aus­piced through DKA

Desert Knowledge Research Institute

The Desert Knowl­edge Research Insti­tute (DKRI) was the for­mal lead for the ARE­NA fund­ing application.

DKRI is incor­po­rat­ed as a com­pa­ny lim­it­ed by guar­an­tee and its sole mem­ber is Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralia (DKA). DKRI’s pur­pose is to under­take research of val­ue to desert Australia.

DKRI is rep­re­sent­ed on the pro­jec­t’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee by the Chair­per­son, who is also a mem­ber of DKRI’s Research Committee.


Ekisti­ca is a pro­fes­sion­al advi­so­ry and tech­ni­cal con­sul­tan­cy firm based in Cen­tral Aus­tralia with clients that include state and nation­al gov­ern­ments, inter­gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies, pow­er util­i­ties, com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice organ­i­sa­tions, large com­mer­cial firms and pri­vate invest­ment firms.

Ekistica’s team includes elec­tri­cal, renew­able, envi­ron­men­tal, civ­il, struc­tur­al and mechan­i­cal engi­neers, engage­ment spe­cial­ists, data ana­lysts and IT sys­tems and finan­cial experts who work on major projects right across Aus­tralia and inter­na­tion­al­ly. Many of its most promi­nent projects are in the renew­able ener­gy sec­tor, although Ekisti­ca applies its under­ly­ing prin­ci­ples and philoso­phies to a broad range of tech­nol­o­gy and infra­struc­ture projects. 

Ekisti­ca has been deliv­er­ing ener­gy solu­tions to remote com­mu­ni­ties for decades, find­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to the com­plex chal­lenges posed in remote Out­back Aus­tralia. One such project was Bush­light (20022013). Ekisti­ca has recent­ly worked with Intyal­heme (project deliv­ery lead for Future Grid) to pro­duce a doc­u­ment called the Off-Grid Guide, which lever­ages the knowl­edge gen­er­at­ed dur­ing the Bush­light project, to pro­mote best prac­tice in the pro­du­cre­ment and deploy­ment of off-grid solar sys­tems in remote Australia. 

Ekistica’s par­ent com­pa­ny is the Abo­rig­i­­nal-con­trolled Cen­tre for Appro­pri­ate Tech­nol­o­gy Ltd.


CSIRO is the knowl­edge shar­ing part­ner for the Future Grid project.

The Com­mon­wealth Sci­en­tif­ic and Indus­tri­al Research Organ­i­sa­tion (CSIRO) is Australia’s nation­al sci­ence research agency and has exten­sive engage­ment into the nation­al ener­gy indus­try. It part­ners with local and glob­al com­pa­nies to deliv­er ener­gy solu­tions for a sus­tain­able future, aim­ing to improve the afford­abil­i­ty, reli­a­bil­i­ty and grid inte­gra­tion of renew­able ener­gy tech­nolo­gies, includ­ing solar, wind and bio­fu­els. Its exper­tise also extends into the trans­port sec­tor with sus­tain­able fuels and ener­gy stor­age solu­tions, as well as using new tech­nolo­gies to improve the elec­tric­i­ty grid. CSIRO pro­vides gov­ern­ment and indus­try with the tools, data and mod­el­ling capa­bil­i­ty to inform pol­i­cy assess­ment and invest­ment deci­sion making.

Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion (PWC)

Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion is one of three Gov­ern­ment Owned Cor­po­ra­tions deliv­er­ing ener­gy ser­vices in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. Pow­er and Water owns and man­ages pow­er net­works on the Dar­win-Kather­ine Inter­con­nect­ed Sys­tem (DKIS) grid and the Alice Springs, Ten­nant Creek and Yulara stand-alone grids. Pow­er and Water also pro­vides pow­er to 73 remote Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties across the NT. Pow­er and Water oper­ates as Sys­tem Con­troller and Net­work Oper­a­tor in all NT grids. It recent­ly deliv­ered the Solar Ener­gy Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gram (SET­uP) enabling 25 remote com­mu­ni­ties to access renew­able ener­gy, in a project co-fund­ed by ARENA.

Ter­ri­to­ry Gen­er­a­tion (TGen)

Ter­ri­to­ry Gen­er­a­tion (TGen) is the main gen­er­a­tion provider on all reg­u­lat­ed grids in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. TGen was estab­lished as part of the NT Government’s struc­tur­al reforms of the Pow­er and Water Cor­po­ra­tion, announced in Decem­ber 2013. The new Gov­ern­ment Owned Cor­po­ra­tion was sep­a­rat­ed from Pow­er and Water in July 2014. It oper­ates nine pow­er sta­tions across the Ter­ri­to­ry, includ­ing two in Alice Springs: Ron Good­in and Owen Springs. TGen has recent­ly installed a 5MW Bat­tery Ener­gy Stor­age Sys­tem in Alice Springs.

Jacana Energy

Jacana Ener­gy is the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry’s gov­ern­ment-owned ener­gy retail­er. It is the lead for sub-project 4 — Tar­iff Reform. Jacana has been heav­i­ly involved in the devel­op­ment of the Solar Con­nect VPP, and is man­ag­ing cus­tomer engage­ment for the trial. 

Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC)

The Arid Lands Envi­ron­ment Cen­tre (ALEC) is Cen­tral Aus­trali­a’s peak envi­ron­men­tal organ­i­sa­tion with strong com­mu­ni­ty sup­port and around 350 finan­cial mem­bers. ALEC has been active­ly involved in urban sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tives since its incep­tion in 1980. ALEC deliv­ered the Alice Water Smart pro­gram in con­junc­tion with Pow­er Water Cor­po­ra­tion in 2013 – 2016 and was an impor­tant con­sor­tium mem­ber of the Alice Solar City pro­gram. It was upon this basis that ALEC was cho­sen to lead the com­mu­ni­ty-fac­ing ele­ments of Future Grid. ALEC is the lead for sub-project 3: Com­mu­ni­ty Solutions

Project Part­ners

The fol­low­ing organ­i­sa­tions were also Project Part­ners of Alice Springs Future Grid, pro­vid­ing valu­able input into var­i­ous tri­als, stud­ies and oth­er activ­i­ties. In addi­tion to the organ­i­sa­tions list­ed below, our Sec­tor Sup­port stream was led by the Insti­tute for Sus­tain­able Futures at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy Syd­ney, in part­ner­ship with Charles Dar­win Uni­ver­si­ty. Our whole-of-project sur­veys were deliv­ered by Mac­Gre­gor Tan. Many oth­er com­pa­nies assist­ed Future Grid on an ad-hoc basis, includ­ing Hut Six and Emerge IT for web sup­port, and the solar and bat­tery installers of Alice Springs who were invit­ed to reg­is­ter as Solar Con­nect Installers. 

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NT Gov­ern­ment

NT Gov­ern­ment (NTG) agen­cies roll out ener­gy-relat­ed pol­i­cy and reg­u­la­tions in the NT. The Office of Sus­tain­able Ener­gy, which sits with­in the Depart­ment of Trade, Busi­ness and Inno­va­tion, has a close asso­ci­a­tion with Intyal­heme, through which it stays abreast of activ­i­ties with­in Alice Springs Future Grid. Oth­er depart­ments rel­e­vant to Intyal­heme and the Future Grid project include Trea­sury and Finance, Pri­ma­ry Indus­try and Resources (DPIR) and the Depart­ment of the Chief Minister. 

The NTG is com­mit­ted to at least 50% renew­able ener­gy by 2030, and com­mis­sioned the Roadmap to Renew­ables report to help achieve the goal. In imple­ment­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions, the NTG fund­ed the Intyal­heme Cen­tre for Future Ener­gy and is deliv­er­ing a $5m rooftop solar in schools project. It has award­ed major project sta­tus to the pro­posed 10GW solar farm near Ten­nant Creek and fund­ed a series of weath­er sta­tions that will con­tribute to the pro­duc­tion of reli­able data for renew­able ener­gy project developers.

The Intyal­heme Cen­tre for Future Ener­gy was start­ed with $5 mil­lion seed fund­ing from the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Gov­ern­ment. $3m of this total is being invest­ed into Alice Springs Future Grid. Intyal­heme wish­es to acknowl­edge the NTG’s support. 

Proa new logo white on blue

Proa Ana­lyt­ics 

Proa Ana­lyt­ics is an Aus­tralian com­pa­ny of engi­neers and sci­en­tists. It uses a deep knowl­edge of solar, opti­mi­sa­tion and ener­gy sys­tems to pro­vide val­i­dat­ed fore­cast­ing and mod­el­ling solu­tions. Proa Ana­lyt­ics was found­ed in 2016 by Matthew Jeppe­sen and Vic­tor Depoorter, both of whom have PhDs in relat­ed fields and exten­sive expe­ri­ence in the ener­gy indus­try. Proa Ana­lyt­ics is lead­ing the ARE­NA-fund­ed Inno­v­a­tive Opti­mal­ly Com­bined Solar Fore­casts project, com­bin­ing mul­ti­ple solar fore­casts to pro­vide an opti­mal fore­cast.

ASP town council logo

Alice Springs Town Council 

Alice Springs Town Coun­cil (ASTC) has around 180 staff and the elect­ed Coun­cil con­sists of the May­or and eight Coun­cil­lors. ASTC was lead pro­po­nent for the high­ly suc­cess­ful­ly Alice Solar City project that ran in the town from 2007 to 2013. The coun­cil prides itself on con­tin­ued lead­er­ship in this space, with many of its facil­i­ties run­ning on solar and a 50% renew­able ener­gy tar­get by 2021. Coun­cil pro­vid­ed in-kind sup­port for Alice Springs Future Grid. 

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Charles Dar­win University 

CDU is the only uni­ver­si­ty based in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. It is Australia’s most norther­ly uni­ver­si­ty, tak­ing advan­tage of its posi­tion on Asia’s doorstep. CDU is deeply engaged with, and informed by, Australia’s Indige­nous peo­ple. It has cam­pus­es and cen­tres across the NT includ­ing Alice Springs. CDU has engi­neer­ing and social research capac­i­ty that will be utilised dur­ing the Future Grid project. CDU is cur­rent­ly involved in a three-year project to research the cost-effec­tive main­te­nance of remote mini-grid sys­tems.