SMA teams with Wilson Transformer Company, launches Australian central inverter solution

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SMA launched a new central inverter and transformer solution that it claims will reduce lead, installation and commissioning times – alongside cutting transport and assembly costs. The Power Skid will be assembled in Wodonga, Victoria, creating local jobs.

The Power Skid was unveiled in a ceremony today in the regional town. It was attended by Simon Corbell, the Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate, federal MP Cathy McGowan, and state member Bill Tilley.

The Power Skid brings together the medium and low voltage (MV & LV) switchgear, transformers, and the PV inverters onto a galvanised base – rather than being fully containerized. Incorporating the Sunny Central inverter from SMA, the Power Skid is available in 2500 and 2750 kVA, for either 1000 or 1500V architectures.

Alongside the logistical advantages, SMA has pointed to additional advantages in reducing the currency risk for solar project developers. The Australian dollar has fluctuated significantly against the euro in recent years – with some notable spikes and troughs.

“Fabricated in Australia, this turnkey solution utilises local Australian manufactured transformers from WTC,” said Boris Wolff, SMA Executive VP Business Unit Utility in a statement. “The local integration makes compliance with relevant Australian requirements simpler and significantly reduces the lead time.” He noted that local manufacturing is cheaper than producing overseas.

Rystad Energy solar analyst Ben Willacy reports that “SMA are clearly the market leader”, for large scale solar inverters in the Australian market. While stringer inverters have taken market share away from central in markets such as Europe, in Australia projects – often on flat pieces of land – central inverters remain the most popular solution.

WTC claims to be the largest Australian-owned and based transformer maker for generation and distribution applications. It supplied both the Broken Hill Nyngan solar farms.

WTC’s MD Ed Wilson said that the Power Skid is a robust unit and a “full turnkey” product for EPCs. He pointed to the collaboration’s value in creating local jobs.

SMA reports 80 people attended the launch.

pv magazine Australia will be hosting a webinar on the Power Skid on July 30. Register here.