Australia plans country's largest flat panel solar facility


In addition to the rooftop project, solar provider Ingenero will also be installing a Solfocus ground-mounted solar array, based on Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) technology. The company said the installation will provide clean energy to the university as well as a training and research platform for assessing multiple leading-edge technologies.

The 1.2 megawatt solar system will be deployed at the University’s St. Lucia campus in Brisbane, across four rooftops and will incorporate over 5,000 polycrystalline silicon solar panels, manufactured by Trina Solar.

Ingenero said the large-scale solar energy system will not only provide UQ with a significant source of green energy, but will also supply "invaluable" data on the positive effect that embedded solar generators can have within power distribution networks.

It is the latest project in a range of renewable energy-based research projects Ingenero and UQ have closely collaborated on over the last two years.

"The UQ solar power installation represents the leading edge of commercial and industrial scale solar energy in Australia. The university will substantially reduce their carbon footprint and provide an excellent learning facility for the future leaders in the renewable energy industry," commented Ingenero CEO Steve McRae.

Professor Paul Meredith who leads the research project at the University of Queensland continued: "Not only is this array a significant piece of energy infrastructure for UQ, but it also represents a globally leading research and teaching facility. Our objective is to integrate the array into everyday business across UQ and also provide the community, industry, and government with vital information on how to deploy and optimize solar energy systems at this scale. We are looking forward to building productive and expansive research partnerships with Ingenero and Trina Solar."

As part of the project, the Solfocus CPV system will serve educational purposes by providing research and teaching opportunities. Trina Solar will also contribute to UQ’s research activities by collaborating on several solar technology research projects.