“Mobile solar” plants to challenge diesel for use in mines, construction sites

Australian developed “mobile solar” technology will be tested at the 1MW scale in New South Wales, after winning a new grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The modular, mobile solar power solution was developed by the Australian arm of UK-based builder Laing O’Rourke, initially as a way to cut diesel fuel costs at the company’s own remote construction sites.

The idea paid off, and a new subsidiary called SunSHIFT was born, along with plans to target the multi-billion dollar large-scale, short-term power market, including mining projects, off-grid applications and remote communities.

The technology combines solar PV and control systems together with a conventional diesel or gas generator, with the potential to add battery storage, and – crucially – can be set up and packed down in just days.

Laing O’Rourke said on Wednesday that the design of SunSHIFT’s 1MW Block had reached a stage where large-scale demonstration was needed “to satisfy the overwhelming interest from the domestic and international entities in the temporary power market.

ARENA – which has supported the technology from its inception – said on Wednesday that it had committed $2.1 million of recoupable funding support to deploy a 1MW Block in Rutherford, in the Hunter region of NSW, which is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2017.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project would provide proof that SunSHIFT could be deployed at scale then effectively packed up and redeployed. It will also need to prove that the system can be delivered at the specified quality within tested timeframes and budget.

“Off the back of this demonstration, we will be ramping up manufacturing to meet the strong demand for our product from mining companies, independent power providers, and infrastructure investors active in emerging markets and developing economies,” said SunSHIFT general manager, Will Rayward-Smith.

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Image Source Via: www.onestopoffthegrid.com.au

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