5B partners with Risen Energy to help bushfire communities

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Risen Energy Australia has partnered with Sydney-based pre-fabricated solar array manufacturer 5B to aid the bushfire relief initiative carried out through a venture, known as the Resilient Energy Collective. The initiative launched in the wake of cataclysmic bushfires and subsequent storms and floods aims to help some hundred sites in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia which have been disconnected from the grid ever since.

The partnership announcement follows the Chinese PV module maker’s earlier contribution of their 400W Jaegar Plus series panels used at a test site for an initial display of 5B’s technology. As part of the initiative, Risen Energy Australia hopes to become more involved with local Australian communities, which are in need of the quickest possible solution to get their lives back on track.

“We are excited to team up with 5B, a forward-thinking Australian organization, for this noble cause. 5B’s mission of delivering world-class technology to ensure clean energy is affordable and accessible, ties in with Risen Energy’s vision of a green future,” General Manager of Risen Energy (Australia), Eric Lee said.

PV concertina

According to Lee, Risen was intrigued by 5B’s pre-built, re-deployable solar array Maverick system and felt that Risen’s high technology panels would be well-suited to this innovative system. Maverick is a solar array in which modules come preassembled onto concrete blocks that replace conventional mounting structures.

A single Maverick is a ground-mounted DC solar array block of 32 or 40 PV modules, which can be made with any standard framed 60 or 72-cell PV module. With modules oriented in a concertina shape at a 10-degree tilt and electrically configured, each Maverick weighs about three tonnes. When deployed, one block is five meters wide and 16 meters long (32 modules) or 20 meters long (40 modules).

Such a system makes deploying a solar farm approximately ten times faster than conventional technology. Since they are pre-assembled, Maverics can be folded up, packed onto a truck for transport, unfolded, and connected to a home or business in less than a day.

Previously, 5B’s technology came to prominence when Sun Cable selected it as its preferred technology on the development of the solar farm component of the ground-breaking Australia-Singapore Power Link project – a 10 GW solar farm coupled with a 20-30GW hour storage facility near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

5B’s partners

After it selected Enphase IQ 7+ microinverters for their “unique functionality and compatibility with its Maverick solution”, 5B expressed its confidence in Risen’s suitability for the project.

“Risen has been a great partner on the bushfire relief project. They were able to respond rapidly and decisively with local stock and local support. Risen’s product range and build quality is a great match to our prefabricated array systems and they have a committed and growing presence in the Australian market,” said Rhett Evans, Chief Technology Officer at 5B.

Indeed, Risen has reported huge jumps in rooftop panel sales in Australia as it continued to progress its big PV projects. In January, the company announced that its 121 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland had connected to the grid for its staging procedures. Meanwhile, its second Australian project, the 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm in Western Australia, has started the commissioning process.

As part of the bushfire relief initiative, Risen will supply its 400W Jaeger plus series, which due to its high efficiency is well-suited to offer multiple end-user solutions to communities affected by bushfire or floods. The Jaeger modules, featuring mono PERC half-cut cells, nine bus bars, and 158.75 mm wafers, were launched in the Australian market last year.

Alongside 5B and its partners Risen Energy and Enphase Energy, the bushfire relief initiative is carried out in collaboration with battery maker Tesla. The systems to be rolled out by the Resilient Energy Collective will be customized to individual energy needs. In standard configurations, the solar+storage systems will cover anything from 8 kwh per day up to 400 kwh per day and allow homes, businesses, and community infrastructure to operate off-grid, 24 hours a day.

The rollout is funded with $12 million from Atlassian co-founder, Mike Cannon-Brookes.

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