Massive solar power system installed at Victorian factory

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An enormous 500-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system has just been installed by Autonomous Energy in Melbourne. Two thousand Kyocera solar panels now cover the roof of Toyota Australia’s Engine Factory at its Altona North plant.

“One of the exciting things about this project was the number of firsts for solar in Australia,” says Mario Como, production engineer at Toyota Australia. “For example, we are the first site to directly connect a solar array to an industrial site’s internal high voltage network via a single 500kW central inverter and transformer.”

The 500kW central inverter and transformer were manufactured by leading power engineering company ABB – this being the largest ABB inverter installed in Australia to date.

“From day one, the priorities for this project have been safety and quality,” says Mark Gadd, managing director at Autonomous Energy. “Working closely with Toyota’s engineers, we have set a new standard in the Australian solar industry for safety management and installation quality.”

Autonomous Energy’s industry leading solar engineering, installation and project management teams were responsible for all aspects of the complex and innovative project. The premium quality Kyocera solar modules in the system produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 200 households, which is equal to permanently removing 570 small cars from the road.

“Kyocera has been manufacturing solar panels for nearly 40 years now, and this is the largest installation of Kyocera solar panels in Australia to date,” says George Phani, national manager at Kyocera Solar. “This installation is an excellent example to other businesses that large scale solar installations should be implemented not only to help the environment, but also to benefit the bottom line.”

The project was made possible with government co-investment via AusIndustry from the Clean Technology Investment Program, which unfortunately has now been shuttered by the Abbott Government.

On the positive side, over the past five years the costs of solar power installations have plummeted. This is due to a number of factors, including a dramatic reduction in the wholesale price of polysilicon, and increasing competition.

More information:

Autonomous Energy is an award-winning Australian sustainable energy engineering company that offers a wide range of sustainable energy systems and engineering solutions.

Kyocera is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of solar photovoltaic modules and systems, and is headquartered in Sydney.

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