Clenergy provides mounting system for Australia’s first commercial Diesel-PV Hybrid powered mine

Clenergy supplied a 1.7MWdc PV-ezRack SolarTerrace V ground mount system for the diesel displacement solar plant project at Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mine in Cape York Peninsula at the northern tip of eastern Australia.
Clenergy provides mounting system for Australia’s first commercial Diesel-PV Hybrid powered mine

The project received funding from the Commonwealth Government, with an initial commitment of $3.5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).  It is Australia’s first commercial diesel displacement solar plant to have successfully commenced commercial operation at a remote mine.

This solar project was developed by First Solar who also provided turnkey Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) services and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Services. The 1.7MWdc mounting system is part of the first phase of the project.

Clenergy provided an integrated mounting solution and engineering services for the Weipa solar project. As the project uses First Solar’s advanced thin film frameless panels, Clenergy developed a special and unique cyclone rated clamp, which then was tested and accepted by First Solar, to ensure compliance with First Solar warranty requirements.

This solution allows for further applications of pairing Clenergy mounting structures with First Solar’s panels in cyclone rated locations. The integrated mounting solution also included a specially-designed adapter to connect the ground screws to the STV posts. Clenergy conducted on-site pull-out and lateral tests to optimize the mounting structure and to maximize the system’s resistance to cyclones. The anodized aluminum structure is ideal for Weipa’s humid environment.

PV-ezRack SolarTerrace V was developed for utility-scale PV deployments and offers a wide range of adjustability and easy deployment. It is particularly well suited for the implementation of large arrays. As the mounting system is easy to install there are minimal training requirements, therefore it is easier to recruit suitable installation labor to install the simple but robust structure. These combined features of SolarTerrace V offer EPC companies bankable and cost efficient installation solution.

At peak output, the 1.2MWac capacity solar plant has the capacity to generate sufficient electricity to support up to 20 per cent of the township’s daytime electricity demand. The project acts as a proof-point for other mining companies looking to reduce the cost volatility associated with diesel generations in remote locations. Clenergy is pleased to be part of this transformation and proud to be able to help with the promotion of renewable energy in Australia and around the world.

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