Solar power projects seeking proposals

Tuesday, 12 May, 2009

The Alice Solar City Consortium is seeking proposals from solar technology providers to develop iconic projects at Ilparpa (south of Alice Springs) and the Alice Springs Airport. These proposals are intended to replace those previously planned for the two sites.

“The Alice Solar City Consortium is working closely with Alice Springs-based renewable energy specialists CAT Projects to investigate technology providers capable of constructing a large-scale solar power station,” said Brian Elmer, Alice Solar City General Manager.

“Part of the suite of large-scale iconic projects for Alice Solar City, the solar power station at Ilparpa will be approximately 1 megawatt in size.”

The first Alice Solar City large-scale iconic project — claimed to be the largest building-mounted solar photovoltaic system in the Southern Hemisphere — was completed in February at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and an economic feasibility study of the solar air-conditioning project at Araluen is currently being undertaken.

As part of the Request for Proposals brief released today, Alice Springs Airport is also on the lookout for exciting technologies that can make a significant contribution to their energy supply needs.

“We invite the wider renewable energy industry in Australia to express their interest to develop technologies that are technically and economically suitable for Alice Springs,” said Elmer.

“We are confident that a number of alternative options will be identified as there has been a significant amount of new developments in solar energy technologies in recent years.”

Possible examples of alternative technology include tracking solar photovoltaic systems, solar concentrating technologies and solar thermal systems.

“Alice Springs residents can already purchase ‘green energy’ from Power and Water Corporation, with the renewable energy source being a landfill gas project in Darwin. But there are great opportunities to increase the amount of green energy available — and a solar power station at Ilparpa would be a clean green energy provider in our own backyard. Our intention is to see that happening through Alice Solar City by the end of 2010,” said Elmer.

“The uptake of solar technologies in Australia continues to grow through programs like solar cities that are creating awareness of and increasing demand for solar installations.”

Solar technology providers are invited to submit proposals for the Ilparpa and Alice Springs Airport iconic projects by 8 June.

Suitable technologies that are identified through this process may be invited to develop detailed plans with project partners Power and Water Corporation and the Alice Springs Airport Pty Ltd. Funding support for successful proposals will be sought from the Australian government.

The Alice Solar City project is part of the Australian government's Solar City program. Trials involving governments, industry, businesses and residents across Australia are helping create a new energy future for Australian communities.

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