Funding boost for movable solar farm

Friday, 21 April, 2017

The 1 MW movable solar farm at Maitland, in the lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, has received AU$2.1 million in government funding.

SunSHIFT, developed by Laing O’Rourke, is a redeployable solar technology that can be easily packed up and moved to accommodate short-term energy needs.

The hybrid solar technology is expected to be used primarily at off-grid locations providing a power solution at remote facilities, such as mines or construction sites, with short operating lives. It could also have applications for emergency power in disaster relief situations.

The system comprises solar PV and power management technology. Its off-site construction and rapid pack-up and pack-down design allows for future expansion, rearrangement and removal at multiple, successive sites.

This means several locations can benefit from a single plant, without any one site needing to commit to a permanent installation. Renewable energy saves on expensive diesel generators and the cost, danger and weather invariability involved in transporting fuels long distances.

The redeployable technology started out as an idea to reduce diesel fuel consumption for power generation at remote construction sites and has now evolved into an entirely new type of power generation asset ready for uptake in the temporary power market.

The Coalition government, through the ARENA, has supported the $4.2 million project since its first feasibility study was proposed in 2014.

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