Redeployable solar trial at shopping centres

Redeployable solar is a very interesting topic as the issue of solar panel recycling comes to the fore. This week ARENA have announced funding for redeployable commercial solar via Australian startup Solpod. 

Redeployable solar

Redeployable solar – on Friday the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced funding for an Australian start up (Solpod Pty Ltd (Solpod)) to trial the installation of movable solar panels on commercial and government building rooftops. 

According to a post on the ARENA website, the startup has undertaken trials with ARENA, ERM Power, GPT and Property NSW.

Redeployable Solar Solpod
Redeployable Solar Solpod (source: solpod.com

Arena CEO Darren Miller, who took over from previous head Ivor Frischknecht last year, was quoted discussing the redeployable solar and their partnership with Solpod:

“Solpod’s new way of installing solar will pave the way for businesses who were previously locked out of rooftop solar to take up renewable energy solutions and options under shorter term power purchase agreements.

“This Australian start up will help to accelerate solar PV innovation and allows for renewable energy alternatives in niche markets, providing a cost-competitive alternative to standard methods of fixed mounting for delivering rooftop grid connected solar PV,” Mr Miller said.

There were also some comments from founder and CEO of Solpod James Larratt, who discussed the new ‘game-changing’ tech:

“Despite rooftop solar being cheaper and more sustainable than the grid, many businesses have made the rational decision to not adopt solar because of other factors such as length of commitment, disruption on site and damage to buildings. Solpod is the game-changer that removes these barriers and enables businesses to capture the savings in energy costs.”

“Solpod’s solution can adapt to meet individual business needs. For businesses that rent their premises, Solpod can offer short-term contracts to match lease terms. For landlords, Solpod allows flexibility for changing site use and will not damage the roof,” he said.

You can learn more about Solpod’s relocatable commercial solar via their website.

 

Read More Solar News:

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania is the next big thing as a grant has been given for a floating solar photovoltaic power plant to be built alongside the 900MW Kruonis hydroelectric plant. 

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania – this will be the first floating solar power plant in the Baltics and is an exciting step in the right direction for the small country. The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LSBA) granted €235,000 (~$370k AUD) for construction of an experimental floating solar photovoltaic power plant at the 900-megawatt (MW) Kruonis hydroelectric plant in Lithuania. 

“The floating solar power plant at Kruonis is one of the ideas that could help Lithuania to become an international leader in renewable energy solutions,” said Darius Maikstenas, chairman and CEO of LEG.

Floating Solar Power in Lithuania
Floating Solar Power in Lithuania (source: Worldbank.org)

Renewable Energy in Lithuania represented 27.9% of the country’s overall electricity in 2016. With wind capacity of 178 MW installed in 2016 and average power usage of 1.1 GW, Lithuania was the EU member state with the highest level of new wind capacity installed in 2016 (relative to its power consumption).

According to an article on DW.com, over 65% of the current existing floating solar in the EU is located within the UK, with the Netherlands in second place. 

A world bank report entitled “Where Sun Meets Water” from November last year shows that our current floating solar capacity is 1.1GW – which could grow to up to 400GW if things go in the right direction. 

“Floating solar technology has huge advantages for countries where land is at a premium or where electricity grids are weak,” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank. “Governments and investors are waking up to these advantages, and we are starting to see interest from a wide range of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

If you want to read the report please click here to download: Where Sun Meets Water: Floating Solar Market Report (PDF)

If you’re interested in the technology, we have written plenty more about floating solar power here! 

Read More Solar News:

Bundaberg is the rooftop solar capital of Australia.

A press release from the Queensland Government notes that Bundaberg is now the rooftop solar capital of Australia. Let’s read more into solar power in north Queensland.

Bundaberg is the rooftop solar capital of Australia.

On the back of the Clean Energy Council report released today, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham praised Queensland for its rapid update in solar power compared to the rest of Australia:

 “Queensland fills six of the top 10 rooftop solar postcodes in Australia, by number of installations.

“And sitting at the top is Bundaberg with 12,620 installations with a capacity of 47,500kW.

“In fact, Queensland has four of the top five places with Hervey Bay at No 3, Caloundra at No 4 and Toowoomba at No 5,’’ Dr Lynham said.

Queensland’s $2b Affordable Energy Plan means that the state now has the lowest ‘typical’ household power bill of the mainland states, according to a separate press release on Dr Lynham’s site.

North Queensland solar is going really well at the moment, with the government trialling grants for landlords to install solar in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville.

“Bundaberg people are embracing the financial and environmental benefits of solar,’’ Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland is leading the way on renewables as the Palaszczuk Government heads towards its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“Palaszczuk Government initiatives, encouraging the take-up of rooftop solar and batteries and creating an environment that has been embraced by the solar industry across the state, particularly in regional areas, is paying dividends across-the-board for Queenslanders.

“In Bundaberg seven applications for the Queensland Government’s solar-only loan package have been approved  and a further 35 applications for battery assistance packages also have been approved.’’ Dr Lynham continued.

Dr Anthony Lynham - Bundaberg the rooftop solar capital of Australia
Dr Anthony Lynham – Bundaberg the “rooftop solar capital of Australia” (source: Wikipedia)

Media enquiries: David Potter 0428 411 617

Read More Solar News:

Smart Inverters required under the Victorian Solar Homes Package

Victoria announced some more details of their solar homes package yesterday – and one of the interesting things that came out of this announcement were some specifics on what constitutes a ‘smart inverter’. 

Smart Inverters required under the Victorian Solar Homes Package

Victoria’s Solar Homes Package provides a rebate up to $2,225 or 50% of the price of a solar power system. This is in addition to Australia’s country-wide solar subsidy (STCs). They’re also responsible for solar battery rebates in Victoria and offer an affordable and exciting way to install solar and/or energy storage at your premises. 

“Victorians have been enthusiastic about adopting renewable energy technology, to take charge of their power bills and help protect the environment,” Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio was quoted online as saying. “Ensuring all new systems are equipped with smart inverters will mean we have a more responsive grid that can handle the rapid uptake of renewable energy.”

With the concept of a ‘smart inverter’ being somewhat of a misnomer, in that it’s not really clear what would make an inverter smart. Solar Quotes initially called it a ‘buzzword’, but, with the release of the Government’s Notice To Market, we are now able to discuss the functionalities an inverter will have to have if can be rebated by the Victorian Solar Homes Package:

a) “Enhanced Anti-Islanding”

No inverter is an island. “Normal” anti-islanding refers to turning off the inverter as soon as grid power is lost, as it has the possibility to damage grid equipment and can also be very dangerous for those on the grid trying to fix things up (as it can turn a ‘dead’ power line into something you really don’t want to be working on). A ‘smart inverter’ would have an inverter which complies with international standard IEC 62116, a comprehensive standard to ensure the inverter is able to work well above minimum safety requirements. 

b) Volt-Watt / Volt-Var

These features “facilitate greater penetration of distributed energy sources (DER) by automatically improving power quality”, as per the Victorian Government. This isn’t a major issue as their Notice to Market notes that 95% of inverter installations under the rebate scheme have installed suitable brands with these options, (and, indeed, 95% of the inverters have ‘enhanced anti-islanding’. 

It’s great to get some clarification on this and we’re excited to see how the rest of the solar homes package ends up. 

Read More Solar News:

World’s largest solar + storage project in Florida

The world’s largest solar + storage project will be built in Florida – the 409MW facility will boast world-leading specs. Let’s take a look at the project:

World’s largest solar + storage project in Florida

Florida Power & Light (FPL), a state owned utility which is owned by NextEra Energy, will build the world’s largest solar + storage project in Manatee Country in southwest Florida.

According to RenewEconomy, the FPL says its Manatee Energy Storage Center (to be created alongside existing FPL solar plant in Manatee County) will be built in southwest Florida. The storage capacity of 409 MW and be able to output 900 MWh of electricity – the equivalent of powering 329,000 homes for 2 hours.

“This is a monumental milestone in realizing the full benefits of solar power and yet another example of how FPL is working hard to position Florida as the global gold standard for clean energy,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL in quotes on the FPL 

“Even as we aggressively execute on our plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030, we never lose sight of finding innovative ways to bring our customers the benefits of solar energy, even when the sun’s not shining.” he continued.

“Replacing a large, aging fossil fuel plant with a mega battery that’s adjacent to a large solar plant is another world-first accomplishment and while I’m very pleased of that fact, what I’m most proud of is that our team remained committed to developing this clean energy breakthrough while saving customers money and keeping their bills among the lowest in the nation.” Silagy finished. It sounds like a fanstatic goal and we’re super excited to see if they’re able to reach it.

Even though we usually report about Australian solar goings-on, this was too good to pass up. Great news for Nextra Energy, Florida Power & Light, Manatee Country, and for the world as a whole. The revolution continues.

“FPL is pioneering a clean energy revolution for our state that’s come full circle for our community,” said Stephen Jonsson, who is the chairman of the board of County Commissioners in Manatee County.

The growth of solar + storage projects has been helped by significant cost reductions in battery storage. The latest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCoE) figures published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance last week which showed that the LCoE for lithium-ion batteries dropped 35% in 2018 to US$187/MWh.

We’ll keep you posted on any updates!

 

 

Read More Solar News: