While Australia’s carbon policy seems to have hit a dead-end, good news from the renewable energy sector continues to pour in. The country will soon see construction begin on its first solar photovoltaic power project with single-axis tracking feature.
The solar pv project owned by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) will have a generation capacity of 70 MW (DC) and located at near Moree, New South Wales. The project will be supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has provided more than A$101 million.
FRV is a global project developer in the solar energy sector. The company has presence in emerging markets like the Middle East, East Africa and Latin America with about 3 GW of capacity under development.
Since 2006, the management team has completed the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of over 450 MW of photovoltaic and CSP solar energy plants. Such projects represent more than $2 billion in total financings secured from more than 20 leading banks.
Solar PV panels equipped with tracking mechanism are usually more efficient that those without it. The tracking system tracks the movement of the sun, and thus enables solar panels to capture more direct radiation compared to the fixed tilt solar panels. Single-axis trackers can either be aligned along the horizontal or the vertical axis.
A single-axis tracking panel equipped with horizontal axis trackers would partially rotate about the horizontal axis, and track the sun’s movement through the day in the north-south direction. Panels with vertical axis tracking will track sun’s movements through the day in the east-west direction. Horizontal single-axis tracking arrangement is simpler, easy to maintain, and cheaper than vertical axis tracking arrangement.
ARENA, established as part of the Clean Energy Future policy of the Labour government, has lost favor from the current Liberal government that has spared no effort to ban it. The fact that the agency has survived the axe till now is quite miraculous. But its future continues to hang in the balance. The ARENA repeal bill was tabled in the Australian lower House of Parliament in June, and was then referred to a Senate committee which is seeking stakeholders’ views.
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