Dutch solar energy and clean water solutions provider Photon Energy Group has commissioned two solar farms in NSW without locking in a PPA. Operating under its Australian subsidiary, Photon Energy Australia, the company is pioneering a new approach to project financing and operations, one they have not used in their previous sites throughout Europe.
As a “merchant” operator, Photon Energy Australia will operate and maintain the solar farms while closely monitoring the wholesale prices for electricity in Australia’s NEM (National Energy Market) to maximise the financial returns achievable from the site.
Years of experience led the company to specify LONGi Solar’s Hi MO 4 Bi Facial solar panels which generate power from the front and rear side of the panel.
Bifacial technology is relatively new for solar farm applications in Australia but LONGi Solar has been a leading global supplier of bifacial panels to solar farm sites world-wide for many years and has been one of the manufacturing pioneers in bringing bifacial technology successfully to market.
“We are proud to support our customer, Photon Energy Australia, with their exciting new strategy,” said Stephen Zhang, Managing Director of LONGi Solar Australia, “and are ready to support the lifetime of the project through our Australian based customer service and support.”
Combined with single axis trackers LONGi bifacial panels will generate maximum energy yields from the site and ensure that the project will achieve the financial goals set out in the merchant operator business model being pursued by Photon Energy Australia.
“Combining bi-facial modules with single axis tracking is proving to be very effective in increasing early morning and late afternoon power output with a very flat power curve throughout the day,” said Michael Gartner of Photon Energy.
“This enables us to better match output to the daily ups and downs of market pricing which is critical in maximising the returns of merchant power plants”
This landmark project could pave the way for post subsidy solar farms in Australia and accelerate the
generation of solar energy to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.