Funding for solar photovoltaic (PV) demonstration project

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A Victorian company has received $4.8 million in funding from the Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), to scale-up a 0.5MW concentrated solar photovoltaic (PV) demonstration project, and expand export opportunities.

Concentrated solar PV involves converting concentrated light directly into electricity. RayGen’s majority locally designed, made and owned technology PV Ultra is an innovative combination of low-cost mirrors and high-efficiency solar cells.

The technology comprises a field of wireless mirrors that track the sun and deliver a concentrated light beam onto the high-efficiency photovoltaic receiver.

Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, said, “With the support of the Turnbull Government, RayGen will be able to further develop their technology, expand their export opportunities and create more jobs in Australia.”

It requires just 4m2 of photovoltaic material per MW and 2,500m2 of mirrors. In contrast. standard silicon PV requires 5,000m2 of photovoltaic material per MW.

The demonstration site at Newbridge in Victoria will consist of two grid-connected 250kW fields and be used to power a local organic mushroom farm.

By scaling up RayGen’s demonstration site and expanding its manufacturing capacity, the funding will help bring down the cost of commercial-scale manufacturing.

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