Finalists in 2018’s Clean Energy Council Solar Design and Installation Awards have been announced, including a stand-alone solar PV system inspired by the African thorn tree, as well as a 68-year old diesel train converted into the world’s first solar-powered train, and the largest private rooftop solar installation in the Southern Hemisphere.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said that the projects nominated in the 2018 Solar Design and Installation Awards highlight the innovation and growth that the entire Australian solar industry has witnessed and experienced in 2018.

“This year is shaping up to be another record one for the Australian solar industry, with over 700MW of solar installed in the first six months of 2018. This is almost 50 per cent higher than the year before, when the most solar power in history was installed across our nation’s rooftops,” Mr Thornton said.

“The standard of entries we received this year was remarkable, and I would like to thank all who took the time to submit one. The quality and remarkable diversity of the projects made it even more difficult than usual for our independent panel to pick the finalists.”

Award finalists have been named across the following categories: under 30 kW stand-alone PV power system, under 30 kW grid connect PV power system and grid connect with battery back-up, 30-240 kW system and over 240 kW system.

The finalists were selected by an independent panel of solar industry experts. The winners of the 2018 Solar Design and Installation Awards will be announced on Wednesday 3 October at the All-Energy Australia Exhibition and Conference in Melbourne.

All-Energy Australia is being held in partnership with the Clean Energy Council and Reed Exhibitions. It will run from 3-4 October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The finalists are as follows:

Under 30 kW – stand-alone PV power system

  • Bruce McRae and Soleman Massoud (Autonomous Energy) for a stand-alone solar PV system inspired by the African thorn tree at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne
  • Michael Reiken (Excel Power) for a steampunk-inspired solar PV system to allow a workshop and office to run completely off-grid with two days autonomy
  • Simon Duff (Towards Tomorrow Energy) for a solar PV system that enabled an award-winning flat packed, re-deployable small building to be situated without the need to be connected to mains power

Under 30 kW – grid connect PV power system and grid connect with battery back-up

  • Florian Geier (SolarHub) for an 8.91 kW solar PV system and battery that was connected to Reposit Power’s Capital Region Distributed Virtual Power Plant in Canberra
  • Luke Fraser (Solar Integrity) for a combined solar PV and battery system that demonstrates how residences connected to single wire earth return lines can install larger solar systems
  • Matthew Leeson (Leeson Solar) for a 6.75 kW building-integrated PV solar tile system on the Austral Bricks display centre in Rochedale, Queensland
  • Stephen Mason and Roberta Colombo (Evergen) for three solar PV systems with batteries on a ten-storey apartment building in Brisbane

30-240 kW – any system eligible

  • Geoff Fussell and Guy Cameron (Suntrix) for designing and installing Australia’s first modular and scalable floating solar PV system in Lismore, NSW
  • Jamie Thorncraft, Edie Barkla-Mather and Juan Jose Ferrandis Giral (Todae Solar) for a 66 kW solar PV system on a 45-degree pyramid in the Sydney CBD
  • Nicholas Lake, Gregory Wilson and Simon Gibbs (Nickel Energy) for converting a 68-year-old diesel train to become the world’s first solar-powered train in Byron Bay, NSW

Over 240 kW – any system eligible

  • Jarrod Shepherd and Matthew Linney (Autonomous Energy) for a 2.2MW rooftop solar system on the Sydney Markets, the largest privately-owned rooftop solar installation in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Robert Mailler (YD Projects) for the eleven MW Dunblane Solar Farm in Barcaldine, Queensland, which set a new benchmark for the levelised cost of electricity in Australia
  • Scott Mason, Murtaza Lukemanjee and Callum Beaton (Platinum Solar Designs) for a 500kW ground mount solar PV system with a 2.1MWh battery at the Willinga Park Equestrian Centre in NSW

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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