2MWp plant in New Caledonia for local beverage company Froico SA
David McCallum, MD Conergy Australia:
“The ‘Heart of New Caledonia’ is a giant heart-shaped message to the government that it’s time to start loving solar.”
BRISBANE, September 25, 2014 – Following publication of the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, Conergy Australia announced today that it has branched out into the Pacific Islands. The company, a subsidiary of one the world’s largest solar companies, will build a first-of-its-kind heart-shaped solar power plant in New Caledonia, 1200 kilometres east of its national headquarters in Brisbane.
The new 2MWp power plant will be located in the northern community of Pouembout, on Grand Terre, New Caledonia’s largest island, where 7,888 German-made Conergy PowerPlus panels will generate enough electricity to supply 750 homes. The project was commissioned by TIEA Energie, a subsidiary of local beverage company Froico SA. Conergy will begin engineering and construction (EPC) work in the coming months, partnering with local contractor AMBI Energy.
The unique design was inspired by the “Coeur de Voh”, or “Heart of Voh”, an area of nearby wild mangrove vegetation that has naturally taken the shape of a heart. The “Coeur de Voh” gained worldwide recognition thanks to the aerial photography of environmental campaigner Yann Arthus-Bertrand in the best-selling book, “The Earth from Above.”
Like its natural cousin the power plant’s eye-catching heart shape will only be visible from the air, when it is completed in the first quarter of next year. Called the ‘Heart of New Caledonia’, it will save an estimated two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over its projected 25-year lifetime, compared with fuel oil, gasoil and coal, which generate the majority of the islands’ power today.
David McCallum, Managing Director, Conergy Australia, said: “In Australia and the Pacific Islands, solar is competitive to build and attractive to finance, since operating costs are low with no fuel dependency. With all of the uncertainty in the Australian industry right now, the “Heart of New Caledonia” is a giant heart-shaped message to the government that it’s time to start loving solar.”
Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a Federal Government policy designed to ensure that at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. A decision on the future of the RET is expected in the coming weeks.