11/12/2008 - 14:23

New $25m solar power project for WA

11/12/2008 - 14:23

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Regional energy supplier Horizon Power has teamed up with PowerCorp and SunPower Australia to build two solar power stations in the Pilbara, valued at $25 million.

New $25m solar power project for WA

Regional energy supplier Horizon Power has teamed up with PowerCorp and SunPower Australia to build two solar power stations in the Pilbara, valued at $25 million.

The two stations will be the largest installation of solar in the state and the first high penetration hybrid solar photovoltaic diesel power stations in the world, Horizon claims.

The stations will be built at Marble Bar and Nullagine and together will generate over 1 gigawhatt of renewable energy each year for local communities over the next 20 years.

The project consists of 1008 solar modules installed in Marble Bar and 900 in Nullagine.

"A single-axis horizontal solar tracking system will follow the path of the sun in each town through the day," Horizon said.

"The high efficiency photovoltaic arrays are the largest of their type ever to be installed in Australia.

"They are flat panel, single axis tracking, monocrystalline arrays with a combined capacity of approximately 500kW.

"The single axis tracking system will tilt the solar modules throughout the day to capture 30 per cent more energy that traditional fixed-tilt systems."

Construction is due to start in March next year with project completion scheduled for December 2009, a Horizon Power spokesperson told WA Business News.

She said Horizon is footing the $25 million capital budget bill, with PowerCorp and SunPower to lend their technical expertise to the project.

The WA Sustainable Energy Association has welcomed the project, saying the state needs to take advantage of the renewable resources and ideas.

"There is no doubt that much of WA can be powered on clean, renewable energy," WA SEA chief executive Ray Wills said.

"The technology is here, the ideas are here, the investment potential is here. Western Australia has massive renewable energy resources - we are the Middle East of renewable energy, we simply need to roll out projects to take advantage of it."

 

The announcements by Horizon Power and SunPower are pasted below:

 

Horizon Power today announced plans to build two state-of-the-art solar power stations in Marble Bar and Nullagine, in the east Pilbara region of Western Australia. The power stations are the first high penetration hybrid solar photovoltaic diesel power stations in the world.

The project will include the installation of up to 2000 solar panels in total across both towns. The solar arrays in both towns will feature solar tracking systems that will follow the path of the sun in each town throughout the day.

The ground-mounted systems will be the largest solar tracking PV systems in Australia.

Flywheel technology will also be used to smooth the energy from the solar panels and to stabilise power quality between the diesel power station and the solar farm. It will also maximise the utilisation of the solar energy.

The solar energy systems will generate over 1 GWh of renewable energy per annum, supplying over 60 per cent of the daytime energy demand from sunlight. This equates to a saving of 35-40 per cent of diesel and 1100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Horizon Power is working with development partners PowerCorp Pty Ltd and SunPower Australia to build, own and operate the new power stations.

Energy Minister, Peter Collier, said "Solar power is an abundant, reliable, clean source of energy. Horizon Power is leading the way by innovatively combining conventional diesel generation with this state-of-the-art renewable energy option.

"This new technology will lessen our carbon footprint and improve our environment for the future," he said.
Horizon Power's Managing Director, Rod Hayes said "Horizon Power is excited to be driving a project that will set a new standard in large-scale renewable energy technology in Australia.

"The project will replace ageing power stations with modern, efficient and more environmentally-friendly power stations that will be able to meet the needs of local communities for the next twenty years," he said.

"Horizon Power vigorously pursues renewable energy options for power generation and is pleased that regional Western Australians will be able to experience the benefits of leading-edge, large-scale renewable energy technology as a result of our partnership with SunPower and PowerCorp.

Construction will begin in March 2009. Horizon Power will provide regular community updates on the progress of the construction of the power stations.

 

SunPower

 

SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), a manufacturer of high-efficiency, solar cells, solar panels, and solar systems, today announced an agreement to build a 505-kilowatt solar power installation for Horizon Power, a government-owned company providing power to remote and regional communities and resource operations in Western Australia. The ground-mounted installation will be located on two sites in Marble Bar and Nullagine, in the east Pilbara region of Western Australia, and will be the largest solar tracking system in Australia.

"Horizon Power is excited to be driving a project that will set a new standard in large-scale renewable energy technology in Australia," said Horizon Power Managing Director Rod Hayes. "Horizon Power vigorously pursues renewable energy options for power generation and is pleased that regional Western Australians will be able to experience the benefits of leading-edge, large-scale renewable energy technology as a result of our partnership with SunPower."

"Western Australia is one of the best locations on Earth to capture the power of the sun," said Bob Blakiston, managing director of SunPower Australia. "The SunPower systems that we build on these sites will maximize the clean, renewable solar power generated for Horizon Power and the communities the company serves."

SunPower will install SunPower solar tracking technology on the sites, which will maximize the solar plant's energy delivery, while optimizing land use and reducing related costs. SunPower solar panels, the highest efficiency solar panels on the market today, will also be used to further enhance the production of the system. Construction is expected to be complete by September 2009.

Last month, SunPower announced that it is building a 305-kilowatt rooftop solar power system for the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. SunPower entered the emerging Australian solar market earlier this year, with the acquisition of Solar Sales Pty Ltd. Solar Sales had partnered with SunPower for several years prior as a leading systems integrator and product distribution organization.

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