SmartEnergy NT COOLmob Action Alliance


SmartEnergy NT COOLmob Action Alliance

Solar – The future benefits for all Territorians

The announcement on the front page of the NT News on Saturday raised the awareness of the potential of solar as a future jobs and income generator for the Northern Territory. A 10-Gigawatt Project is massive and SunCable are well advanced on their plans to produce solar energy here and sell it to Singapore, Indonesia and the rest of Australia potentially.  The article and comments in the Sunday Territorian raised a number of issues which are relevant.

The Environment Centre NT and Smart Energy NT are joining forces and sharing resources to promote Smart Energy and Solar opportunities in the Northern Territory. The Roadmap to Renewables Report and the Beyond Zero Emissions’ 10-Gigawatt Vision give us a clear direction in what is desirable and possible to achieve.

These reports lay out in detail much of how this can happen. The Roadmap to Renewable Report had 11 recommendation and these were accepted by the NTG, but the action taken since then has been and the commitment to make real change appears to be diminishing. The structure of the market is key to getting the best outcome for Territorians. There are meeting regarding this happening this week, but tough decisions need to be made to get the best result. The ACT has an excellent model and this should seriously be contemplated as the best option. They have even offered to assist and provide the related regulations and legislation to make this happen.

The 10-Gigawatt Vision has many recommendations to electrolyse our economy using solar and green Hydrogen made from Renewables. It is not just our electricity generation but the electrification of existing and future mining, manufacturing and transport right across the NT. The good news is there are local, interstate and international funders ready to invest in these visionary projects. The Vision has identified 7 Opportunities which are diverse and imaginative in their nature. It is estimated they can create 8,000 jobs and $2 billion in revenue by 2030.

At the local level the immediate opportunity is for consumers, business and government to invest in roof top PV solar now and get the benefits of reduced power bills now. We are the best place in the world and despite the higher cost of installation due to cyclone codes, building permits and other costs the return on investment due to the amount a system can generate offsets the additional costs over time. The performance warranties of quality solar panels is 25 years. What other product can you buy with that sort of warranty?

One of the issues for us is the high level of public housing and rental properties. Other states including Victoria and South Australia have led the way with public housing including providing funding. With the current state of NTG finances this is not likely to happen here but there are private funds available to do this on rental properties.

The other large opportunity is Community Solar. With a change to the laws in October 2018 SMEs and Community owned companies can now raise up to $5 million per annum under ASIC guidelines where small investors can invest up to $10,000 per annum in each such company. In six months $33 million has been raised for all sorts of projects. This is called Crowd Funding Equity Raising and there is a specialist company the concentrates on Agricultural and Energy projects who are prepared to come to the NT to assist us to facilitate these projects.

It is up to NT businesses and consumers to make it happen so all Territorians can benefit. While our focus will be on the education and research for the best opportunities it requires a wide rang of Territorians to buy in and benefit from the opportunities.

The role of the NT and Federal governments will be to ensure the legislative and investment rules will allow the NT to become the leader in Renewables in Australia.

The report in the NT News about the SunCable project is a strong endorsement of the NT’s ability to take this leadership. We believe there is the opportunity to equal the size of the SunCable project in a range of locations right across the Territory.


At the Smart Energy Action Alliance meeting on Thursday June 20 at the ABB Microgrid Centre at East Arm there was the public launch of the 10 Gigawatt Vision followed by a talk by Jeremy Kwong-Law heads up investments at Grok Ventures, Mike Cannon-Brookes’ investment company. They are keen to invest in smart energy solutions at a range of levels in the NT. We then had the initial meeting of the action groups formed to work towards meeting our goals, they are;

SmartEnergy NT Policy Group will be formed to explore ways to achieve our goals and then create policy suggestions. This group will be led by Alan Langworthy who was Chair of the Roadmap to Renewables Committee.

SmartEnergy NT Technical Group will be created to search the world for technical solutions to create stronger grids and microgrids with the goal of producing technology to address the challenges. The group will be led by Juergen Zimmermann and will be based at the proposed Renewable Centre in Darwin and at The Desert Knowledge Precinct in Alice Springs

SmartEnergy NT Community Solar Group will work to promote the opportunities of Microgrids and Community Solar projects across the NT. It will focus and funding projects and innovative funding so the whole community can be involved not just property owners. This group will be led by Geoff Goodrich, Director of SmartEnergy NT.

COOLmob 10 Gigawatt Vision Working Group will advocate for the recommendations within the BZE report and to work with the 3 other groups to create a powerful voice for the 10-Gigawatt Vision.  This group will be led by Shar Molloy CEO of the Environment Centre NT.

If you would like to join one or more of these groups you just need to be a member or sponsor of the Environment Centre NT or Smart Energy NT


For further information please call

Geoff Goodrich on 0419 906524 or email

Shar Molloy on 0488 112350 or email