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Desert Springs Octopus

Larrakia Nation and Jawoyn Association in the Northern Territory have signed a renewable energy benefit sharing agreement with Desert Springs Octopus to ensure First Nations involvement in and benefit from projects, for jobs, procurement, training, export initiatives and local business support.

The two communities are connected to Country around Darwin and Katherine, and includes Australia’s closest major port to Asia.

The new partners will initially pursue solar and battery projects, including:

  • 100 megawatts (MW) to 150MW of solar with 30MWh to 50MWh of storage near Darwin;

  • 60MW to 80MW of solar coupled with between 5 to 10MWh of storage for mining operation; 

  • 10MW to 15MW of solar with between 2MWh to 3MWh of battery storage for which the Australian Defence Force is expected to be the eventual offtaker.

Funding for the projects will come from a mix of wholesale, impact and institutional investors.

Desert Springs Octopus will also look to construct infrastructure to suit the needs of local communities in the NT, with local communities also receiving equity in Desert Springs Octopus projects equivalent to the land or capital they invest. 

Desert Springs Octopus is a majority First Nations owned company, a joint venture between Desert Springs Renewables and Octopus Investments Australia. Octopus Australia, a renewable energy developer and fund manager, is backed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and HostPlus superannuation fund. 

Octopus Australia is pursuing a near-term A$1billion investment opportunity to provide grid connected renewable energy along the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System. The future will see Desert Springs Octopus and First Nations community partners pursue development of green hydrogen projects, by leveraging land, renewable energy resources and access to Northern Territory export infrastructure.