CSIRO solar researchers to play a part in world’s largest photovoltaic systemPosted: Monday, 25th July, 2011
Did you know that at present Australia’s largest system of solar photovoltaic panels (at the University of Queensland) is rated at 1.2 megawatts? Sound like a lot? Well, compare that with the world’s largest system (in Sarnia, Ontario), rated at 80 megawatts.
Now, finally, Australia is playing with the big boys. As a result of the Federal Government ‘Solar Flagships’ program, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr has announced funding for a system rated at a whopping 150 megawatts!
With a group of other top researchers, CSIRO will lead R&D worth A$66.5 million at a proposed Solar Farm in Moree, a regional farming community in northwest New South Wales.
It’s all part of an Australian Government initiative to support the construction of large-scale, grid-connected solar power stations in Australia, using solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies: the A$1.5 billion Solar Flagships program. The Moree Solar Farm is a $925 million project involving BP Solar, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Pacific Hydro and a consortium of researchers from CSIRO, The University of New South Wales, The University of Newcastle and Hunter TAFE.
I can hear people already saying ‘how big is that?’ Well, when fully operational the Solar Farm will comprise around 650 000 photovoltaic panels and produce enough power for around 45 000 households (a city roughly the size of Darwin!), leading to an annual displacement of around 400 000 tonnes of CO2 through generation of renewable electricity.
For more on the project go to: http://www.csiro.au/science/Moree-solar-farm.html