Rising efficiencies and the plummeting cost of solar modules over the past few years, recent months notwithstanding, are leading innovators toward ideas that may look unusual in the current tracker-dominated world of large-scale solar parks. Advocates of the new approaches argue that they leave traditional models looking decidedly flat by comparison.
Drones have already established themselves in industries as disparate as warfare, wedding photography, and burrito delivery, and increasingly the solar sector is taking the high road, too. Combined with thermal imaging, drones have the potential to obviate expensive maintenance costs for large-scale solar plants, as well as C&I and growing niches like floating PV. But how useful are they, and what role does AI play in making the most of a bird’s eye view?
The Australian arm of Canadian clean energy investment firm Amp Energy expects to begin energisation of its 85 MW Hillston Solar Farm in New South Wales early next year after confirming it had achieved financial close for the estimated $100 million project.
French energy giant EDF has revealed the latest element of its planned expansion into the Australian renewable energy market, teaming with New South Wales-based miner Malabar Resources to jointly develop large-scale solar PV projects in the Hunter Valley.
The rollout of large-scale batteries in Australia continues with electricity gen-tailer EnergyAustralia issuing a call for a project partner to help deliver the Wooreen Energy Storage System to be built in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
The Clean Energy Regulator has recommended major reforms for Australia’s rooftop solar PV industry, including that it be solely responsible for the enforcement of regulations in relation to accredited installers, retailers and component manufacturers.
Developed by U.S. scientists, the 10%-efficient device is intended for applications in solar windows and promises efficiencies close to 15%. According to its creators, the cell retained 80% of its efficiency after 1,900 hours at 55 degrees Celsius.
Australian renewable energy developer ACE Power has called on the federal government to set clear policy and emissions targets as it looks to make an impact on the nation’s transition to renewables with an estimated 1.3 GW portfolio of large-scale solar PV, wind and battery energy storage projects in development.
Queensland’s ambition to become a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen has received a boost with state government-owned electricity generator Stanwell teaming with a consortium of Australian and Japanese energy companies to commence a feasibility study for a proposed large-scale production and export project in Gladstone.