Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has bought a majority stake in technology group HyET. Its “Powerfoil” solar technology is described as extremely lightweight (5% of the weight of traditional glass panels), and with a significantly lower levelized cost of energy. HyET is also invested in hydrogen electrolyser technology.
“The electrically active layers consist of SnO2:F, Silicon, ZnO and Al, whereas the encapsulation material uses some fluor polymers,” the company writes. “All these materials are abundantly available and thus allow for large scale deployment of the technology. No scarcity is to be expected for any of these materials in the short and medium term.”
SBS World News tonight announced the establishment of a factory to produce “Powerfoil” in Gladstone, Queensland. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spoke of the announcement as being as significant for Queensland as winning the bid to host the 2032 Olympics.
Andrew Forrest will be well known to some of the readers of CleanTechnica — he is one of the backers (alongside Mike Cannon-Brookes, of Atlassian) of the Sun Cable project in the Northern Territory, which involves a 20 gigawatt (GW) solar farm alongside 40 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery storage to supply Singapore with green energy via undersea cable.
“Green energies need to be available at an industrial, global scale. We don’t have time to wait, we have to act now,” Forrest said in a statement.
HyET claims that its Powerfoil technology can be installed without expensive supporting frames and structures, weighing only 0.6 kg/m2 — just a small fraction of standard panels. This will lead to cost reductions of up to 30% as it is integrated into building elements.
“So far, the technology has only been installed in small capacities, including an IKEA rooftop in the Netherlands, fuel stations in Oman and Indonesia, and on a cruise ship operating in the Galapagos Islands,” Renew Economy writes.
Expect great things as Fortescue Future Industries bankrolls a massive expansion of production.