Renewable energy monitoring has nose-dived in Australia since the election of Liberal Governments at state and federal level, so we see very little of that business these days, much to our sorrow. South Australia’s own reputation as the ‘wind energy state’ was a matter of some pride within MEA, where a clean energy future is something we all aspired to.
While wind energy projects are almost certainly dead on the Australian mainland, the solar energy generation business still has some legs under it, as per the various monitoring projects MEA has undertaken in recent years using solar trackers and advanced instrumentation in pilot-monitoring for thermosolar power plants.
What is likely to be Australia's largest solar farm officially opened at Royalla, south of Canberra, in September 2014. It is connected to the national electricity grid and was developed as part of the ACT Government's target of 90 per cent renewable energy for the territory by 2020.
The 20 megawatt Royalla Solar Farm was developed by a Spanish company, is made up of 83,000 photovoltaic solar panels and has the capacity to power more than 4,500 ACT homes.
MEA built the special-order solar monitoring weather stations – equipped with the very finest secondary-standard pyranometers – and newly-developed technology for monitoring specially-calibrated reference solar panels akin to those operating on the solar farm.
(With thanks to the ABC website for Royalla Facts)
|Solar monitoring station at the Royalla Solar Farm|