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A large new Solar power station in Victoria is planned. Solar Systems is to build the world’s most advanced photovoltaic (PV) heliostat solar concentrator power station in north-western Victoria, Australia. The 154 megawatt (MW), A$420 million, project will generate 270,000 MWh per year, enough for more than 45,000 homes.

It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 400,000 tonnes per year. It will also aid in reducing salinity and create jobs during manufacture, construction and operation. Full commissioning is expected in 2013, with the first stage to be completed in 2010. The "CS500" dish concentrator PV unit design has 114 curved reflecting mirrors, which track the sun throughout the day.

The combination of mirror profile, mounting framework and solar receiver will deliver concentrated solar energy to each PV module. The tracking mechanism allows electricity to be produced during the day whenever the sun is more than 5° above the horizon. Direct current electricity from the receivers is passed through an electronic inverter that produces grid-quality alternating current. Transformers step up the voltage to the requirement of the local network at the point of connection. Advantages of this design include:

  • "The CS500 dish has a longer effective operating life than traditional PV. Because the receiver is only a small area of PV (a 35kW CS500 dish has a PV area of 0.23m² where as 35kW of traditional flat plate would use approximately 350m²) maintenance is simple, quick and affordable. The modules include a specially designed filter that removes harmful UV radiation that reduces the operating efficiency and life of traditional PV technology. The modules are also cooled which increases their effective operating life and their efficiency".
  • "The CS500 dish costs significantly less (per installed watt) than traditional PV technology. This is despite the fact that the CS500 is new and still near the top of its cost curve. Advances in technology, maturity and volume production will further increase the gap".
  • "The CS500 produces more electricity (per installed watt) than fixed flatplate PV technology - by up to 30%. This is because it tracks the sun and operates at lower temperatures".
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