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. Once a series of sub-projects was defined, it became clear a number of organisations would be required to run the project. These organisations are the Consortium Members.
The following organisations are represented on the Steering Committee of Alice Springs Future Grid.
The Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy (pronounced In-char-lum) is a flagship project of Desert Knowledge Australia. It was established via NT Government funding in 2017 with 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.
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.
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.
Its engineers have been delivering energy solutions to remote communities for decades, finding innovative solutions to the complex challenges posed in remote Outback Australia. Ekistica worked with NT Airports to deliver 5.5MW of airside solar PV at Darwin International Airport, making it the largest fully privately financed solar PV system in Australia. Ekistica’s parent company is the Aboriginal-controlled Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd.
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) 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.
The Desert Knowledge Research Institute (DKRI) was the formal lead for the ARENA 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 will be represented on the Project Steering Committee by the Chairperson who will also be a member of DKRI’s Research Committee.
Sub-project Lead: Arid Lands Environment Centre
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.
ALEC is the Project Lead for sub-project 3: Community Solutions.
Sub-project Lead: Jacana Energy
Jacana Energy is the NT’s largest electricity retailer, with 80,000 customers across residential and commercial settings, and urban and rural locations. Jacana was created as part of the NT Government’s structural separation of Power and Water Corporation. It is owned by the NT Government. Jacana is leading sub-project 4: Tariff Reform.
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.
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 is providing in-kind support for Alice Springs Future Grid.