If the product is successful, ARENA has prearranged a royalty from the profits.
BY ELIZABETH FABRI
LAING O’Rourke subsidiary SunSHIFT has developed a mobile solar farm system for large-scale on-grid and off-grid electricity generation that can be installed and packed down easily within days.
The pre-engineered and pre-fabricated container-sized modules are being trialled at a site in Rutherford, NSW, before the technology enters the global market.
The $2.1 million trial funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), would see SunSHIFT complete a pre-commercial deployment of one of its modular and movable 1 megawatt Block solar photovoltaic (PV) products.
SunSHIFT general manager Will Rayward-Smith said after three years partnering with ARENA, ABB and SunPower, the company was looking forward to showcasing its solar PV technology to the industry.
“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,” Mr Rayward-Smith said.
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said the system could help smooth the transition to a renewable energy future as a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative to diesel generators for off-grid users.
“This latest project will provide proof that SunSHIFT can be deployed at scale then effectively packed up and redeployed,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Quick set up and pack down, along with sizing flexibility, presents several advantages for different applications.
“Projects that only last a handful of years, like construction and mining operations, could benefit from SunSHIFT without having to rely on the typical 20-plus year payback period for solar installations.”