A fully grid-connected, first of its kind concentrated solar photovoltaic (CSPV) power tower was unveiled on Friday in Newbridge, Victoria, Australia, which some believe could reduce the cost of solar-based electricity around the world.
The Central receiver CPV pilot project, developed by RayGen Resources, serves to “demonstrate the world’s first pre-commercial pilot of a central receiver system that uses solar photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion.” The CSPV project cost $3.6 million, and received $1.75 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
“RayGen has already received international orders for the technology, which has the potential to reduce the cost of solar-based electricity,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht on the unveiling of the project, which will provide 200 kilowatts to a local agriculture business. “This is a great example of how ARENA support has helped deliver valuable Australian IP with the potential to create exports and hundreds of new jobs.”
Specifically, the concentrated solar photovoltaic power tower “employs an ultra efficiency concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) receiver combined with an optimized heliostat collector field (an array of sun-tracking mirrors).”
A growing number of international orders for RayGen’s CSPV technology will be backed by a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed at the unveiling between RayGen and its commercial partner, Juye Solar, for an additional capital investment of $6 million, which RayGen says “will enable RayGen to boost its manufacturing capacity.” In addition, “Juye Solar will invest a further $15 million for the development of RayGen’s offering in China.”
Speaking at the event, RayGen Chairman and CEO, Robert Cart, said the global energy industry was in the midst of its most dramatic transformation ever, creating the biggest market opportunity in history.
“The need to fulfil new energy demand requirements, along with the replacement of retired generation assets, will call for an estimated $10 trillion of investment by 2030 solely on new generation sources. The International Energy Agency estimates that around two-thirds of this will be in developing countries, and solar will take the lion’s share. Australia is capable of commercialising – in a big way – world-leading technology innovation.”
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