Best Grid-Connected Renewable System
Winner: Infratec Sunergise JV for the Nauru Energy Initiative 1.15 MW Solar Farm
In October 2019, Infratec Sunergise JV commissioned a 1.15 MW Solar plant in Nauru. The project, entitled: The Nauru Energy Initiative: Construction of a Renewable Energy Infrastructure in the Republic of Nauru, was one part of the JV’s North West Pacific project which was jointly funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the European Development Fund. The project also included renewable energy projects in the Republic of the Marshall Island, Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau.
The 1.15 MW solar array constructed in Nauru consists of 3200 360W modules and 40 25kW field mounted string inverters. The JV also installed and commissioned a ring main unit and transformer to connect the PV array to the existing 11kV network on Nauru.
Due to the fact that fresh water is scarce on Nauru, the PV array was constructed with a pilot water catchment system on 100m2 of the array. The water catchment system includes 25,000L of storage and will be used to provide water for module cleaning but also serves as an emergency source of water for the island. Testing on the water collected has shown it to be potable and based on the success of the pilot system the JV has been asked to develop a plan for expanding the water collection system.
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Runner-up: Reid Technology for the Mainfreight Auckland Solar Project
At 422.4 kWp this system is the largest solar power system in New Zealand currently.
Mainfreight is NZ's 16th largest company by market capitalisation and it is really exciting that they have committed to this large solar project.
The Westney Road system uses 1408 x Trina 300W DEG glass on glass monocrystalline modules. These are very efficient 60 cell modules - with module efficiency of 18.2%. One of the key drivers for Mainfreight choosing frameless modules was this longer, higher % performance warranty.
This system was the first in NZ to use SMA's new CORE1 inverter. This freestanding inverter is designed to be installed on rooftops - just like Westney Road - and has a built in DC isolator and six MPPT trackers.
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