World’s Largest Portable Solar Farm Commissioned in Australia

By: | January 4th, 2021

Image by Zsuzsa Bóka from Pixabay

‘SA Water’, a government agency in South Australia, has just commissioned the world’s largest portable solar PV modules array, consisting of 30,000 units. The first location of the project will be a 12-hectare site in Adelaide, but being a re-deployable thing it could be placed elsewhere in the future. The point of these arrays is to accommodate the shifting demands in power, which is a common troubling factor in Australia.

The particular solar farm is a 17 MW one, which should be enough to cover the needs of almost 10,000 homes. Of course, this array is just one of the 34 that are going to follow, giving a combined energy or 242 GWh each year. The total investment for this is $228 million, which is going to cover 160,000 solar panels. These panels are made by 5B, an Australian technology developer who focuses on clean tech innovation and solar energy in particular.

SA Water wants to cover the electricity demands for its huge wastewater treatment operations in Happy Valley, the Adelaide desalination plant, and major pump station along the Morgan to Whyalla pipeline. The Happy Valley Reservoir is supplying water to over half a million people in Adelaide and has a capacity of 11.5 gigalitres, so it needs a lot of power for sure.

David Ryan, an executive at SA Water, stated that they estimate a very positive impact on their environmental footprint, the equivalent of planting around seven million trees. Because the area is still home to native flora and vegetation, as well as kangaroos and various wildlife, using conventional powering technologies does significant damage on multiple levels.

The switch for the new solar array will turn to “on” sometime in the following months, as some safety testing is left to be done after the connections are finalized. Hopefully, all will go well and the rest 34 arrays will follow up shortly.

Bill Toulas

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