Melbourne-based solar company RayGen Resources has announced the appointment of a new CEO, as it seeks to commercialise its award-winning Australian made concentrating solar PV technology.
RayGen – which unveiled its $3.6 million, 200kW pilot CSPV tower plant in the town of Newbridge in March last year – claims to be the first in the world to combine high efficiency solar cells with low-cost heliostat collector systems.
With a sunlight-to-electricity conversion rate of 40.4 per cent, the technology currently holds the PV system efficiency world record in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, where it was developed.
The company – which has plans to build a $5 million manufacturing plant in Victoria – has also suggested its technology could be the world’s cheapest, and could lead to exports of $1 billion.
Last September, RayGen secured $2.5 million in funding for the Victorian plant from its Chinese joint venture partner, JuYe Solar.
The proposed high volume, repeatable manufacturing line facility – completion of which is subject to a further $2.5 million in funding – would expand the company’s existing operations in Victoria, boosting production of RayGen’s concentrating solar PV (CSPV) technology to as much as 100MW a year at full capacity.
Completion of the new facility would also create more than 200 jobs in engineering, research and development, high-tech manufacturing and head office roles.
Wyatt, who has considerable experience working in and with Chinese companies, is expected to build on RayGen’s success in China, including a contract with state-owned renewables giant China Three Gorges to supply a minimum of 500MW of capacity using its CSPV technology.
The company’s out-going CEO, Robert Cart – who is leaving to return to his home in the US – has pointed to the important role that support from the Victorian Government has played in helping the company forge commercial opportunities for its utility-scale solar power solution.
“The gains we’ve made over the past few years, with funding support from the Victorian government and agencies like ARENA, demonstrate that Australia can and is, finding significant and lucrative markets for leading-edge technology innovation” he said last year.
“The potential is enormous and we must be able to deploy quickly to serve the needs of our partners and investors.”
In 2011, RayGen received Victorian Government funding of $1 million awarded under the Sustainable Energy Pilot Demonstration program.