US solar manufacturing giant First Solar and Australian project developer Ingenero say they will target commercial scale and off-grid projects under a new partnership announced on Monday. Ingenero has built Australia’s largest rooftop system at University of Queensdland and First Solar’s technology was used in the construction of the first utility scale solar farm in the country, the 10MW Greenough River project.
The two companies said they will jointly target diesel fuel replacement opportunities in Australia’s off-grid sector, reducing operating costs for mining companies and providing an alternative source of power generation for communities throughout regional Australia and the Pacific Islands. Ingenero recently completed a hybrid off-grid solar power plant on the island of Vava’u, Tonga. “These kinds of off-grid applications, as well as commercial and utility scale applications, hold significant growth opportunities internationally,” said CEO Steve McRae.
New Zealand scales back climate targets
New Zealand has scaled back its target for reducing carbon emissions on Friday, saying the move was an interim step ahead of a new United Nations pact from 2020, Reuters reports. The government said it would now commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Reuters said It had previously indicated that it would look at a cut of 10 per cent to 20 per cent. “In deciding this target, the government has carefully balanced the cost to New Zealand households and businesses against taking ambitious action to tackle climate change,” Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said in a statement.
Germany installs largest rooftop system
Meanwhile, Cleantechnica reports that the largest self-consumption rooftop solar array in Europe has been completed, and it is of course located in Germany. The 11 hectare facility consists of 33,000 solar panels, and has a generation capacity of 8.1 MW, and is located on the roofof the Pfenning Logistics distribution centre south of Frankfurt. The building was recently constructed and has been owned by Union Investment as of 2012. “We are happy that we can now partially generate electricity by ourselves,” said Karl-Martin Pfenning, owner and managing partner of the Pfenning group. “With the photovoltaic installation we can annually save up to 5, 171 tons of CO2.”