First Kiwi-built ‘so­lar sta­tion’ de­liv­ered to Van­u­atu

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

So­larCity NZ’s first con­tainer­ised ‘so­lar sta­tion’ is the first of a se­ries de­signed to power fresh wa­ter pro­duc­tion for 11,000 people in Van­u­atu.

De­vel­oped by Kiwi com­pany So­larCity NZ for Hi­tachi, the 50kWp (kilo­watt peak) so­lar power sys­tem has been built within a mod­i­fied ship­ping container and will power the first of two de­sali­na­tion plants for the is­lands.

The ship­ping container has been de­signed to work in­de­pen­dently of the grid and pro­vide iso­lated and de­vel­op­ing com­mu­ni­ties with power.

Two so­lar-pow­ered seawa­ter de­sali­na­tion plants will be in­stalled on Am­bae Is­land and Aniwa Is­land. The 50kWp so­lar PV sys­tem will also in­clude 600kWh of bat­tery stor­age, and 36kW of con­tin­u­ous bat­tery in­verter out­put.

This planned de­sali­na­tion plant will be the first of this size in Van­u­atu. The Am­bae plant will pro­duce ap­prox­i­mately 4,200 litres of fresh wa­ter an hour, and the Aniwa plant will pro­duce ap­prox­i­mately 420 litres of fresh wa­ter an hour.

In 2013, So­larCity suc­cess­fully in­stalled a 131kWp sys­tem in Nauru for de­sali­na­tion. Like the Nauru project, the Van­u­atu sys­tem is funded as part of the Pa­cific En­vi­ron­ment Com­mu­nity (PEC) Fund.

The firm’s CEO Andrew Booth says: “One of our com­pany’s goals is to work on state-of-the-art so­lar projects that re­duce Pa­cific Is­land na­tion’s de­pen­dency on fos­sil fu­els for power gen­er­a­tion and de­sali­na­tion.

“Re­li­able ac­cess to en­ergy lies at the heart of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and is cru­cial to hu­man well-be­ing.

“As cli­mate change starts to im­pact on the avail­abil­ity of fresh wa­ter on the is­lands, the suc­cess­ful in­te­gra­tion of so­lar and de­sali­na­tion plants will be­come crit­i­cal to com­mu­ni­ties across the Pa­cific.”

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