The first of more than 30,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are now being positioned at the Happy Valley Reservoir in Adelaide’s south in a project claimed to be the world’s largest fully moveable solar array.
Created by Australian solar innovator 5B, the company’s Maverick solar panels (pictured) are pre-wired, fabricated and folded to allow for each panel to be installed and fully re-mobilised and moved several times.
The moveable array is an initiative by SA Water to reduce its operating expenses according to environment and water minister David Speirs.
Speirs said: “This will be the world’s largest fully moveable solar array and when fully energised it will generate around 13 megawatts of green energy, which is enough to power 2,940 average South Australian homes while reducing net carbon emissions by 7,600 tonnes.
“The local community was involved in developing the solution for this site to reduce visual impacts, which informed the selection of this panel with a lower profile and ability to fit in a smaller area.”
The Happy Valley Reservoir, which treats much of Adelaide’s drinking water, will be opening up for recreational access such as kayaking and fishing next year.
The array at Happy Valley forms part of SA Water’s aim to achieve a zero cost energy future, including the installation of more than 500,000 solar panels producing a total of 242 gigawatt hours of green energy each year.
Panels have already been positioned at the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, Adelaide Desalination Plant and major pump stations along the Morgan to Whyalla Pipeline.
SA Water Chief Executive David Ryan said Happy Valley is one of more than 30 SA Water solar sites being constructed across metropolitan and regional South Australia.
Ryan said: “With our extensive water and wastewater operations making us one of the largest electricity consumers in South Australia, being able to generate solar electricity at sites like Happy Valley will make us more resilient to the volatility of the electricity market.
“The positive impact of our zero cost energy future will also be our environmental footprint, with the total estimated emissions reduction the equivalent of planting seven million trees.”
Picture: 5B Solar/Maverick panels being deployed
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