The Alice Springs Future Grid project is underway in the NT, with wind being assessed as a potential form of renewable energy. Two wind monitoring units have been deployed to determine the feasibility of use as a second renewable energy resource for the region.
“The Wind Monitoring Study underway in Alice Springs, using Sonic Detection and Ranging units, will see whether a new renewable resource, available at scale, can contribute to powering the Alice Springs electricity grid, while also using solar,” NT minister for Renewables and Energy Eva Lawler said.
“We are building a strong and diverse economy and there are significant opportunities for clean energy production and use.”
Currently solar is the only renewable resource available at a scale that can contribute to powering the Alice Springs electricity grid. Wind energy would be complementary to solar because it is available day and night.
The local wind resource is being measured with Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) units, located at the Desert Knowledge Precinct and on Territory Generation’s land at the Owen Springs power station.
“Territory Generation is pleased to collaborate in the study of technologies which may further support the Alice Springs power system,” Territory Generation chief executive officer Gerhard Laubscher said.
“Continuing to investigate the potential of renewables is critical to achieving the Territory government’s emissions target.”
Alice Springs technical consultancy and Future Grid Consortium Member, Ekistica, is leading the Wind Monitoring Study. Data will be collected over the course of one year and shared publicly at its conclusion.
“Future Grid’s Wind Monitoring Study is focused on data collection which may or may not lead to a business case for wind turbines in Alice Springs,” Alice Springs Future Grid project director Lyndon Frearson said.
“Alice Springs has one of the highest levels of solar irradiance in the world. However, we have a strong history of renewable energy innovation and are always looking to see how we might be able to harness new renewable energy options in Central Australia.”
The NT government is investing in a number of renewable projects such as the procurement of the Darwin to Katherine 35MW Big Battery, the Sun Cable project in the Barkly and our Home and Business Battery Scheme.