Australian solar technology for export

Monday, 15 January, 2007

Solar Systems' mega scale solar power technology has been endorsed under the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6). Solar Systems technology generates electricity with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The AP6 project "˜High Efficiency Solar Power Stations for Affordable Energy' aims to deploy over 1 GW of solar power stations across Australia, China and the United States of America.

Solar Systems was awarded an in-principle funding allocation from the Australian government to support a pilot solar concentrator photovoltaic technology plant and facilitate deployment of the power stations across partnership countries.

The AP6 brings together Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States to meet goals for energy security, national air pollution reduction and climate change in ways that promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

The Australian Government funding announced through the AP6 will support the construction of the first 2 MW of this power station and promote subsequent rollout of the technology across China and the US.

Solar Systems' mega scale solar power technology is known as "˜Heliostat Concentrator Photovoltaic' (HCPV). It will consist of fields of heliostats (sun-tracking mirrors) focusing sunlight at 500 times sun concentration onto central receivers. The receivers house photovoltaic modules, which consist of ultra high-efficiency solar cells that convert the sunlight directly into electricity.

This technology is highly repeatable: one field of heliostats and central receiver, which has a capacity of about 2 MW, can be replicated over and over to make up a total power station.

Australian company Solar Systems has been commercialising solar concentrator photovoltaic technology since 2000, following 10 years of research and development.

The commercialisation process has already seen four smaller solar power stations established in central Australia, with support from the Australian Greenhouse Office. AP6 announcement will support the further commercialisation of Solar Systems' technology.

Solar Systems managing director Dave Holland said that the company had plans to roll out large-scale solar technology across Australia and internationally.

"Solar Systems' commercialisation plans are about harnessing the greatest, fully sustainable energy resource the world has. Less than 1% of the world's arid lands could produce the world's energy needs using Solar Systems' current technology "“ without harmful emissions or concern about finite fuel supply," Holland said.

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