History of Alice Solar City

While many residents and business have got involved with Alice Solar City since its launch in 2008, behind the scenes local organisations and businesses  worked towards the Solar City vision over many years. Below is a summary of the many events that  culminated in the launch of our Solar City and the many achievements from the project that followed.

Alice Solar City Historical Timeline

  • Mid 2000 - Representatives of Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC), Central Australia Tourism Industry Association (CATIA) and Brendan Meney Architects met with the idea of Alice Springs as a “Solar City”.
  • Sept – Oct 2000 - ALEC convenes a “Solar City” group consisting of interested businesses and organisational representatives.
  • May 2001 - Alice Springs News prints a front page article entitled “Sun City Alice” promoting the idea to the general public.
  • May 2001 - The “Solar City” Group develops and submits a proposal for the Desert Knowledge Australia Technical Solutions group outlining the concept and opportunities.
  • 2001 - Desert Knowledge Australia embraces the idea and initiates the “Towards a Solar Region” group to further the idea.
  • 2001 - ALEC receives funding from the Australian Greenhouse Office for the “Cool Communities” project. After the ‘Cool Communities’ project had concluded, the project continued through funding from the Northern Territory Government as Desert Knowledge Australia COOLmob, later to become desertSMART COOLmob.
  • 2002 - Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) commences the Australian Government's “Bushlight” project, delivering custom designed solar power systems to indigenous communities with operations based in Alice Springs.
  • June 2004 - The Australian Government announced a national Solar Cities Initiative, calling for expressions of interest from cities around the country.
  • November 2004 - Discussions begin amongst a range of interested parties within Alice Springs with a view to expressing interest in the Solar Cities program
  • Dec 2004 - ASTC Mayor and PWC representative attend briefings in Melbourne. Alice Springs registers interest in Solar City Program and initial project team meets.
  • Jan 2005 - Work begins on the Alice Springs Solar Cities proposal, including a workshop of key stakeholders and the recruitment of a consultant to work full time on the bid.
  • June 2005 - The Alice Solar Cty Consortium is officially formed. The Consortium consists of Alice Springs Town Council, Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, ALEC, Desert Knowledge CRC, Tangentyere Council and NT Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • July 2005 - Alice Solar City Consortium submits one of 23 Expressions of Interest.
  • December 2005 - Alice Solar City is one of 11 projects to be short-listed and invited to submit a detailed business case.
  • April 2006 - Detailed business case submitted.
  • June 2006 - Representatives from ASTC, PWC, and the Consortium chairman deliver a multimedia presentation supporting the Alice Springs bid to the selection panel in Canberra.
  • April 2007 - Alice Springs announced as the 5th Solar City!
  • March 2008 - Alice Solar City launches.
  • May 2008 - First solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed in an Alice Springs home under Alice Solar City.
  • June 2008 - Alice Solar City Commercial Program launched.
  • October 2008 - Minister Garrett announces funding for the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs 304 KW flat panel solar system (the first 'iconic' project) and work commences.
  • November 2008 - 500th Alice Springs resident signs up to Alice Solar City.
  • February 2009 - Commissioning of the Crowne Plaza Solar Project, making it the largest building mounted solar photovoltaic installation in the souther hemisphere.
  • July 2009 - Frist solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on a small business in Alice Springs.
  • July 2009 - 1,000th customer signs up with Alice Solar City.
  • August 2009 - Alice Springs Hotel installs unique solar heat pump system and a 12 KW solar power system.
  • September 2009 - Alice Solar City opens the Sustainable Living House.
  • December 2009 - Crowne Plaza installs 32 innovative heat pumps.
  • March 2010 - Alice Solar City launches a bulk purchase solar PV scheme.
  • April 2010 -  Alice Solar City's second iconic project - a solar power station at the Alice Springs Airport is announced.
  • July 2010 - Alice Springs Town Council announces that the Aquatic and Leisure Centre will now have solar collector panels installed to provide solar heating to pools.
  • September 2010 - Alice Solar City General Manager, Brian Elmer, shares the Alice Solar City Story at the World's Solar Cities Congress in China
  • October 2010 - Crowne Plaza named Asia Pacific's most sustainable hotel.
  • November 2010 - Launch of the Alice Springs Airport, power system.
  • December 2010 - 1MW power station deal for Alice Springs.
  • March 2011 - Alice Solar City conducts its 2000th home energy audit in Alice Springs.
  • April 2011 - Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre is opened.
  • July 2011 - Uterne Solar Power station opens.
  • September 2011 - Last open day of Sustainable Living House.
  • March 2012 - Alice Solar City declares 2012 "The Year of Energy Champions".
  • March 2012 - Alice Solar City featured on China National TV.
  • April 2012 - 20 Alice Springs households publicly committ to reducing energy use.
  • April 2012 - Araluen power system announced as Alice Solar City last iconic project.
  • July 2012 - 2,500 or 25% of Alice Springs households now more energy efficient.
  • July 2012 - 2,200 solar panels installed on Alice Spring business.
  • August 2012 - Uterne wins Engineering Excellence award at the Engineers Australia Northern Division Awards, taking out the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) Award for Sustainability. 
  • August 2012 - Research shows the Alice Solar City program injected $100m into Alice Springs' economy.
  • August 2012 - The end of financial incentives for Alice Solar City residential customers is announced. 
  • December 2012 -Solar PV Installation at Araluen Cutlral Precinct.
  • March 2013 - Alice Springs celebrates Alice Solar City's 5th birthday.
  • March 2013 - The Alice Solar City Commercial Program closes its doors.
  • 31 May 2013 - Cost Reflective Tariff and elevated buyback trials end.
  • June 2013 - The final residential home energy audit is conducted.
  • June 2013 - Alice Solar City closes its doors to the public.

To be continued………………….the next chapter is up to you!!!
 

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