Utility scale solar Alice Springs
This is an interesting video produced by Dara Switchboards who conducted electrical installation at the site.
Uterne (which means “bright sunny day” in the local language) was originally a 1MW utility scale solar array constructed by SunPower as part of the Alice Springs Solar Cities program. The 1MW was built using the SunPower T20 product, which consists of a tilted frame sitting on concrete blocks. An actuation rod connects several T2o frames and allows the panels to move to track the sun for greater output.
In 2012, I led efforts to sell the site to Epuron, negotiating the sale with them and stakeholders such as the NT Power and Water Authority who were contracted to take power from the solar power station.
I then worked closely with Epuron and Power and Water to expand the site by a further 3.1MW, negotiating the Engineer-Procure-Construct agreement and electrical connection details.
The expansion occupies the same land area as the first array but is much more productive per hectare with the updated T0 design – which are the horizontal arrays evident in the video. As with the T20, several arrays are moved by a single actuator to track the sun from east to west.
All electricity is exported to the Power and Water network that serves Alice Springs.