The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has unveiled Laing O’Rourke’s first operational redeployable solar-diesel hybrid power plant in regional Queensland.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the plant was a clear demonstration of a versatile alternative to diesel powered generators and is understood to be the world’s first fully redeployable large-scale solar-diesel hybrid power plant.

“The 1MW hybrid plant was delivered, unpacked and fully functional in one week,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The Laing O’Rourke solution is a real game-changer – it provides off-grid locations with a viable energy alternative to a portion of expensive, trucked-in diesel and overcomes the barriers and risks associated with permanent, fixed framed solar installations.

“The plant can be scaled up or down by adding or removing power modules and can be packed up and moved elsewhere when it is no longer needed. This allows the solar panels to be re-used several times over their lifespan and is suitable for construction projects, mine sites and other applications where temporary power is required.”

“ARENA has supported the Australian idea from its inception and is delighted to see it successfully progress to real world demonstration in less than a year.”

ARENA partnered with Laing O’Rourke by providing $410,000 support for the feasibility and design work and a further $450,000 for the $1.4 million demonstration project.

The 1 MW hybrid solar diesel plant includes 144 KWp of solar PV and is supplying power to a 350-bed accommodation village in for a large construction project in Queensland.

Laing O’Rourke Managing Director Cathal O’Rourke said the achievement demonstrates Laing O’Rourke’s commitment to innovation and collaboration.

“By bringing together our R&D, engineering, fabrication, delivery and plant hire business units and the strong support from ARENA, we’ve ultimately produced an innovative new solution that will potentially change the renewable energy landscape in regional and remote Australia,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“We believe this investment and innovation could provide huge benefits to remote communities, business operations and construction projects in the future, as well as have particular benefits for events that require rapid deployment of power units – such as disaster recovery.”

Laing O’Rourke is in the process of making the system commercially available to the broader market.


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