Solar powered energy systems will soon be delivered to over 30 Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory. This initiative is part of the $55 million Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), which includes $27.5 million funded through the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $27.5 million by Power and Water Corporation through support from the NT Government.

Michael Long, one of the Northern Territory’s most recognised faces following his star-studded AFL career, will support Power and Water to help spread the word to indigenous communities about the benefits of solar energy.

“Power and Water has developed this partnership with Mr Long because it believes local Indigenous voices need to deliver the key messages about the benefits of solar power in their communities,” General Manager Remote Operations, Scott Robertson said.

“Michael Long and his team have a proven record in successful community consultation programs in remote areas and they are crucial partners in helping Power and Water share important messages around SETuP.

“As part of SETuP’s implementation, Power and Water is keen to deliver effective energy efficiency messages to help community residents save money and understand the benefits of solar power; our Indigenous business partners will help us achieve this goal.

“Solar is cleaner, greener and quieter and it also means that there are fewer diesel deliveries to communities. Diesel is expensive and delivery by truck across vast distances on difficult roads or by sea on a barge in all kinds of weather carries many risks.

“Michael is from a remote Indigenous community and following his illustrious sporting career, has become a leader and advocate for his people, many of whom who will soon be receiving a good portion of their energy needs through SETuP,” Mr Robertson said.

The new solar systems will deliver 10 megawatts of solar power and reduce diesel use by around 15 per cent when fully implemented. The rollout of solar installations will begin later this year and continue through until 2018 with ongoing testing and system performance analysis taking place into 2020.

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