As major resources projects coupled with strong housing demand underpin a Northern Territory market set for further growth, energy infrastructure provision has become vital for the state.
Two Power and Water Corporation (PWC) projects designed to deliver this essential infrastructure have been recognised for their excellence at the recent Engineering Awards held in Darwin.
The Archer Zone Substation won the People's Choice Award, while the TKLN Renewable Energy Project won the Research, Development and Innovation Award, along with the Australian Solar Energy Award for Sustainability.
Minister for Essential Services Willem Westra van Holthe said the benefits they would provide for the Territory would be huge as the NT government continues plans to expand the mining and energy hub and “return jobs to the bush.”
“The Archer Zone Substation, near Palmerston, will support the forecast growth in electrical load from the city's CBD and new suburbs to be built over the next five years,” he said.
The zone substation will step power down from 66,000 volt transmission from Channel Island and Weddell power stations to 11,000 volts for distribution into the suburbs of Mitchell, Johnson and Zuccoli and the central business district.
“It was estimated an extended outage of Palmerston zone substation could have cost the community in the order of $6 million a day,” Westra van Holthe said.
“With this in mind PWC and GHD set about designing the future Archer Zone Substation. This was based on providing additional power supply capacity to meet the continual load growth, secure the power supply to the Palmerston community and enable the growth of the new suburbs to ease housing demands.
Westra van Holthe said the work will ensure Palmerston and the surrounding areas will have a secure power supply well into the future.
The TLKN project has seen almost one megawatt of renewable energy capacity installed in the remote indigenous communities of Ti Tree, Kalkarindju and Alpurrurulam.
Minister for Regional Development Alison Anderson said the three flat-plate solar photovoltaic systems provided up to 80 per cent of the communities’ power needs during the day.
“This is estimated to save more than 440,000 litres of diesel and 1200 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, which is absolutely remarkable,” she said.
The project is an advanced green energy project due to the use of the large contribution that solar will make to the local electricity supply and the innovative solutions used to integrate solar with the diesel power stations at the communities.
These projects will both support the region’s growth plans.
Earlier this year, as part of the NT’s mining and energy hub plans, final approval of a brand new $8 billion mine was announced which is expected to fuel growth in conjunction with other resource projects in the region, representing a further boost to an already tight market.
Australian Ilmenite Resources’ SILL80 Project in the Roper area aims to export 300,000 tonnes of ilmenite annually, with $30 million already spent on exploration and initial development in the area.