Territory small businesses harnessing the Sun

Alicetronics team

An innovative engineer is using a Northern Territory (NT) Govern­ment grant to boost his family-run business even further - and help the environment.

Hunter Murray, who owns Alicetronics with his wife Trudy, gained a Smarter Business Solutions grant towards a 53.2kW solar PV and battery system worth $66,700 which was installed by another Alice Springs-based family company, Photon Solar.

It has cut $1,000 a month off the firm’s $14,000 annual electricity bill (an 85% reduction) and is expected to pay for itself within 3.7 years.

Hunter said it will also provide energy for a fast 40KW EV DC charger to run the company’s fleet of electric vehicles, which will further improve the return on the investment and provide the public with much-needed EV infrastructure in Central Australia. Hunter envisions the rollout of additional DC charge stations to all of the NT major highway roadhouses, towns and communities.

He said switching to electric power makes sense. Some locations spend more than $100,000 a year on diesel for power generation and the returns from a solar battery hybrid system could offer financial savings of 80%.

Hunter said the NT’s challenges are similar to those in remote parts of South Australia and Western Australia.

“The lack of grid power means we need to come up with unique, off-the-shelf, solutions,” he said. “We don’t have to lose our standard of living to go electric.”

He said 'going electric' is better in many ways.

“These innovations can create lots of jobs locally. It’s time to embrace the changes and get the NT to 50% by 2030 and make Australia a green superpower.”

Hunter said applying for the grant from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade was simple.

Smarter Business Solu­tions grants are open to Territory businesses, Aboriginal enterprises and not-for-profit organisations to help reduce day-to-day energy, water, waste and material costs.

To find out more, go to the Northern Territory Government website

Originally published on the Northern Territory Government website.

Article last updated on 22 April 2022