The Turnbull Government is providing $2.1 million through Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the deployment of a 1MW movable solar farm, at Maitland, in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales.
SunSHIFT, developed by Laing O’Rourke, is a re-deployable solar technology that can be easily packed up and moved to accommodate short-term energy needs.
The demonstration will show than SunSHIFT can be deployed at scale and cost and can be packed up and redeployed at a competitive cost.
The hybrid solar technology is expected to be used primarily at off-grid locations providing a power solution at remote facilities, such as mines or construction sites, with short operating lives.
The technology could also have applications for emergency power in disaster relief situations.
The all-in-one system comprises solar PV and power management technology. Its off-site construction and rapid pack-up and pack-down design allows for future expansion, rearrangement and removal at multiple, successive sites.
This innovation means several locations can benefit from a single plant, without any one site needing to commit to a permanent installation.
Renewable energy saves on expensive diesel generators and the cost, danger, and weather invariability involved in transporting fuels long distances.
The re-deployable technology started out as an idea to reduce diesel fuel consumption for power generation at remote construction sites and has now evolved into an entirely new type of power generation asset ready for uptake in the temporary power market.
This project is a great example of a flexible capacity solution, alleviating the problems associated with supplying power in regional areas at fringe-of-grid locations.
The Coalition Government, through the ARENA has supported the $4.2 million project since its first feasibility study was proposed in 2014.