The ARENA off-grid portfolio now boasts a collection of world leading innovations, with four projects now operational and a number that will become operational later in 2017.
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The four projects are:

  • Sandfire Resources' 10.6MW solar farm at its Degrussa copper mine in Western Australia - one of the world's largest off-grid solar power systems;
  • The 1.7MW Weipa solar plant for Rio Tinto's bauxite mine in Queensland - Australia's first commercial diesel displacement PV solar power station;
  • The 1.8MW of solar PV being integrated into the existing system at the Yulara Resort near Uluru, Northern Territory; and
  • Karratha Airport's 1MW solar plant with cloud predictive technology at Western Australia's second-largest airport.

According to ARENA, remote Australia has two features that helped with the success of their innovative off-grid energy solutions - high costs of energy in the area, and excellent renewable energy sources to take advantage of.

This is the reason why back in 2013, ARENA established its remote renewables investment initiative - Regional Australia's Renewables, and over the years have worked with their proponents to overcome some significant first-of-a-kind technical and commercial challenges.

ARENA's proponents now are supporting the next generation of projects by sharing their experience at several upcoming conferences, starting with Remote Area Power Supply in Sydney.

ARENA's CEO Ivor Frischknecht and chair of ARENA's advisory panel Paul Ebert will feature at this specialist industry conference, alongside project case study presentations and expert panel sessions on integration challenges and solutions.

The program features a spotlight on more than 10 ARENA-funded projects, including DeGrussa and Weipa, to speak on their integration challenges and solutions.

ARENA is currently working closely with the organisers to ensure that the issues, insights and opportunities are shared and socialised among attendees. 

ARENA is also collaborating with CAT Projects to produce the miRenewable Energy: a how to guide for the mining sector, which is handbook that will make renewable energy decision making easier for the mining sector.

They are currently looking for interested miners, mining service providers, and other key stakeholders to be part of this project via a short interview or case study contributions. 

To find our more about participating or contributing, please contact offgrid@arena.gov.au