Clenergy signed to supply ground-mounted system solution to a 1.7MWdc (1.2MWac) diesel-PV hybrid power plant at Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mine in Cape York Peninsula at the northern tip of eastern Australia. The project is funded by the Commonwealth Government and is developed by First Solar.
For the hybrid project, Clenergy supplied its PV-exRacl SolarTerrance V ground mount system for Frist Solar to install its thin-film frameless panels. Clenergy developed a special-designed cyclone-resistant clamp to ensure compliance with First Solar warranty requirement. Furthermore, the anodized aluminum structure is ideal for Weipa’s humid environment. As the 1.7MWac system is the first phase of the project, Clenergy’s solution allows further expansions.
At peak output, the Weipa solar plant has the capacity to generate sufficient electricity to support up to 20% 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.
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.