Good news stories about the Australian solar industry have been as rare as hen’s teeth lately. With the taking of the cudgels by state governments to the highly successful feed-in tariffs (can someone please explain that again — just one more time!), to the slow sinking of the fed’s Solar Flagships program, to the march out the door of Australian solar manufacturers, its been a grim time for solar fans.
So in the words of the immortal Hanrahan: “we’ll all be rooned?” Well no. Not only are the narks reporting of the slow death of the Australian solar industry completely exaggerated, but solar is set for a big year, with or without government assistance. Indeed bursting out of your correspondent’s inbox this week is the announcement by Solar Systems Pty Ltd that operation has commenced on Australia’s largest Concentrating Photovoltaic CPV Solar Power System in Bridgewater, Victoria.
CPV technology focuses a large amount of sun onto photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and the 500 kilowatt station will be used as a testing and development site for the new technology.
The company — a subsidiary of the renewable technology firm Silex Systems Ltd — described the Bridgewater complex as a “significant milestone” in the road to building the company’s “Dense Array” CPV technology.
“Eight dish systems have been successfully commissioned and are operational with the remaining eight dishes to be brought online progressively over the next few weeks,” said Dr Goldsworthy, CEO of Silex.
“We are very excited about the commercial potential of this technology, which is expected to provide very low cost electricity from large utility-scale solar power stations,” he added.
Victoria’s the go apparently as the company is also building another, larger CPV plant at Mildura in the north west of the state.
Wait a minute. Low cost electricity? Large utility scale solar? Sounds like a solar dawn to me (apologies). Brace yourself folks because … here comes the sun (you saw that coming too didn’t you?).