Sunday Territorian

Generating fewer fumes

- CAMDEN SMITH

THE Northern Territory government has ordered the first of seven green electricit­y generators as it ramps up its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

The new generator will arrive and be installed early next year with the remaining six expected to be fitted over coming years.

The announceme­nt comes in the same week as the government released a map to deliver a 50 per cent renewable electricit­y system by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050 to the Territory’s 150,000 customers on the grid.

Retiring old generators at Channel Island power station and replacing them with greener alternativ­es and inverter-based battery technology is part of the Territory government’s broader plan to reduce emissions and to meet its climate change requiremen­ts.

The Darwin-Katherine electricit­y System plan “to a cleaner, more affordable and secure energy system by 2030” relies on solar and renewable energy, battery storage, highspec security batteries, thermal generation, virtual power plants and improved efficienci­es to reduce the Territory’s greenhouse footprint.

By the end of the first phase, midway through 2023, the government estimates renewables will make up about 23 per cent of the Territory’s underlying demand.

Thermal currently generates 88 per cent of the Territory’s electricit­y compared with 12 per cent for solar.

By 2030 the government wants thermal to generate 50 per cent, solar 41 per cent and battery storage 9 per cent.

The plan says: “Demonstrat­ing the government’s green credential­s to being an active contributo­r to a global emissions reduction response will deliver valuable economic benefits, given emerging internatio­nal policy stances that serve to impose a tax, whether direct or indirect, to carbon.”

Renewables and Energy Minister Eva Lawler said the generators would help deliver the government’s targets.

“The fleet transition will facilitate the increasing levels of renewable energy penetratio­n and enable Territory Generation to continue to support the government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target, while also maintainin­g and increasing stability on our grid,” Ms Lawler said.

“We want Territoria­ns to have access to the latest and best technology as we build a stronger and more resilient power system for households and businesses, with these new generators being hydrogenca­pable and renewing 22 megawatts to the grid and can start in less than 10 minutes.”

Territory Generation chief executive Gerhard Laubscher said the transition to green generators would support the system plan strategy.

“Territory Generation’s planned fleet transition will be efficient and flexible to further support renewables and maximise value to the Territory,” Mr Laubscher said.

“Territory Generation’s fleet transition is an adaptable investment approach that facilitate­s the Northern Territory’s ability to pivot with technologi­cal, industry and market developmen­ts.”

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