The systems totalling 3.3 MW represent the first phase of a 10 MW project aimed at reducing the use of diesel fuel in off-grid regions.
In total, 28 remote communities are planned to receive the hybrid systems under the AUD55m ($43.8m) Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), an initiative managed by utility Power and Water and jointly funded by the Northern Territory government and Australian renewable energy agency Arena.
Power and Water said the scheme is expected to reduce communities’ reliance on diesel fuel by 15 per cent as well as saving over one million litres of diesel per year.
A second round of installations is planned for at least 12 further communities over the course of this year and into 2018.
Power and Water CEO Michael Thomson said, “The completion of Solar SETuP Tranche One is on the trajectory to transform the way energy is supplied with hybrid solar/diesel power generation. The state of the art installation of integrated electricity supply will reduce emissions and local pollution with fewer fuel trucks and barges visiting the communities.”