Alice Springs Joins Governments $94 Million Solar Cities Program

NT, Australia ( August 23, 2011

Alice Springs Joins Governments $94 Million Solar Cities Program

Alice Springs Joins Governments $94 Million Solar Cities Program

California-based SunPower Corp has recently completed building Australia’s largest tracking solar power plant, the 1-megawatt Uterne facility in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

It features more than 3,000 SunPower Corp solar photovoltaic panels that generate up to 50 per cent more electricity than conventional solar panels. The panels are positioned to follow the sun during the day.

The project is part of the Alice Solar City program, one of seven cities participating in the Australian Government’s A$94 million Solar Cities program, in which solar technologies and systems are trialled on urban sites. The Australian Government contributed A$3.3 million to the A$6.6 million Uterne project.

Under the first utility-backed solar power purchase agreement in Australia, electricity generated will be sold to the Northern Territory’s Power and Water Corporation at a guaranteed price for the next 20 years.

“SunPower is delighted to have constructed Australia’s largest producer of solar energy,” said Bob Blakiston, SunPower managing director. “Uterne demonstrates that – just like any other fuel production plant – solar generation can be supported by a long-term power purchase agreement, setting a positive precedent for the development of similar projects in this country.”

“We are proud to be among the first in Australia to use this technology on this scale, and to make the benefits of solar power available to all residents in Alice Springs,” said Andrew Macrides, managing director, Power and Water Corporation.

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