Great to see the announcement from KEA energy re the new Solar Farm in Marlborough. The Marlborough not only grows the best grapes in the world it can be used to produce the cleanest greenest energy. Having the most sunshine hours in New Zealand (Eat your heart out Nelson)
Using the latest Commercial Bi Facial Solar panels expects to have a 2 MW grid-connected solar farm up and running in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley just before Christmas. Generation will initially be limited to 1.85 MW based on modeling the firm has developed with Beca, he says.
But the project will use a solar inverter that can deliver up to 2.125 MW. The farm will connect to a Marlborough Lines’ 11kV power line. “We will be working in conjunction with Marlborough Lines on possibly ramping our limit up over time after we can see the effects of the 1.85MW,” McMath says. The project’s estimated cost is $2.5 million to $3 million.
Leeston-based Kea has spent two years developing the Wairau Valley project. McMath says the company needed to find “the most economical land, grid connection, neighbours we can have a laugh with, and where we can get consent with a council.” He says the project’s high-tech componentry will help make it “one of if not the most efficient technologically advanced solar farm[s] in New Zealand.”
Such technology includes a tracking system that follows the sun’s passage during the day and bi-facial 405W panels than can absorb solar rays to be absorbed from both sides of the panel. McMath says the inverter can control voltage at night and perhaps even over time replace an 11kV regulator – “a great saving for a lines company”.
Power Electronics International will design and manufacture the inverter which Kea expects to be delivered in September.
Great to see commercial farms in the area and shows that Solar is a good investment from generation to the home.