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Solar Atlas tool launched in Victoria

10th Oct 2012

A new online gadget aimed at renewable energy companies has been launched by the Victorian government.

Called the Solar Atlas, the technology is a mapping tool that organisations can use to identify the sunniest spots in the state, so they can better plan projects.

So how does it work? Well, it utilises NASA data which is then calibrated using additional information gathered from three ground stations.

These structures take hourly solar and climatic readings for five-kilometre areas throughout Victoria, while time-series data is measured at one-minute intervals.

Sounds complicated ... but energy and resources minister Michael O'Brien claimed the innovation will be vital for businesses hoping to make the most of their solar energy schemes in the region.

He said: "The Victorian Solar Atlas is a powerful tool that will help attract solar investment and jobs.

"The Atlas provides investors, developers, researchers and communities with up-to-date information about some of the best solar resource regions in the world."

According to the government, the data gathered by the tool will be useful across all forms of solar energy technologies, including photovoltaic stations, solar thermal power generation and solar hot water.

The news comes not long after the authority was criticised by several industry commentators for reducing the state's feed-in tariff rebates for solar systems.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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