Executives of rapidly deployable solar power systems manufacturer 5B have celebrated what they call a ‘very big deal’ for the solar sector – the placement of the first bolt of the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line.
The Mascot, NSW company took to social media and said: “An epic moment when the foundation bolt of our Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line went in this week.
“It’s the robotic equivalent of ‘turning the first sod’. This represents a step change not just in 5B’s evolution, but for the whole solar industry.”
Once fully operational, the AMPL is expected to produce a 50-70 kilowatt solar array every 30 minutes with minimal labour.
Backed by investors Malcolm Turnmbull, Simon Holmes à Court and global energy giant BP, the company’s Maverick solar array consists of pre-manufactured ground-mounted structures of steel and concrete, pre-wired at the factory, having 50 kilowatt capacity, and the ability to be stacked four per 40-foot shipping container.
According to the company it has completed 52 projects so far. It is also preferred technology supplier to Sun Cable’s ambitious Australia-Asia PowerLink project, which aims to provide up to 15 per cent of Singapore’s electricity requirements via a 4,200-kilometre undersea cable, and includes a 20 gigawatt solar farm.
5B said: “It is a very big deal in the industry. There will be a million incremental steps before we reach this end point. The task should not be underestimated, both in terms of its impact on the sector and how hard it is to achieve.”
The company said it appreciated the support of all its suppliers, partners and customers in its endeavour.
It thanked the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for their $14 million grant supporting the $33.4 million project.
“Hopefully, 50 years from now, this moment will be logged alongside Henry Ford’s mass manufacturing of cars, or Apple’s iPhone for standardising, simplifying, accelerating, and packing more value into the system itself.
“Onwards to automation!”