Solar Systems Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Silex Systems Limited (ASX:SLX), has announced that it has commenced operation of Australia’s largest Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) Solar Power Station in Mildura, north west Victoria. The grid-connected facility will be used for the demonstration of Solar Systems’ proprietary ‘Dense Array’ CPV solar conversion system and when fully operational will have a capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) – enough to power up to 500 average sized homes. A commercial power purchase agreement (PPA) for power off-take onto the local Mildura grid was signed with Diamond Energy on 17th December 2012.
Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy said, “The commencement of operations at our Mildura Demonstration Facility is a significant milestone in the commercialisation of Solar Systems’ unique ‘Dense Array’ CPV technology. The first array consisting of 10 dish systems has been successfully commissioned and is operational, with the remaining three arrays of 30 dishes to be brought online progressively over the next few weeks” said Dr Goldsworthy.
“We are very excited about the commercial prospects for this technology, which will potentially provide very low cost electricity from large utility-scale solar power station projects planned for deployment around the world.” he added.
The Mildura Demonstration Facility and associated product development program has received strong financial support from the Victorian State Government with a $10 million funding package, as well as some additional financial support from the Australian Federal Government. The planning phase for the next stage, the 100MW Mildura Solar Power Station Project, continues with construction commencement expected late in CY 2014, subject to successful operation of the Mildura Demonstration Facility and finalization of funding arrangements.
Construction of a 1MW demonstration plant at the Nofa Equestrian Resort near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia continues, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter CY 2013. This will be the first offshore demonstration facility using Solar Systems’ ‘Dense Array’ CPV Dish technology. Significant opportunities exist for the development of solar projects in Saudi Arabia with a number of major initiatives announced by the Saudi government.