Silex flicks switch on solar power station

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Silex Systems (ASX:SLX), via its wholly-owned subsidiary Solar Systems, has announced commenced operation of Australia’s largest Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) solar power station in Mildura, north west Victoria.

Silex said the grid-connected facility will demonstrate Solar Systems’ ‘Dense Array’ CPV solar conversion system.

The company explained that and when the facility becomes fully operational it will have a capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) – enough to power up to 500 averaged sized homes.

A commercial power purchase agreement for power off-take onto the local Mildura grid was signed with Diamond Energy in December 2012.

“The commencement of operations at our Mildura Demonstration Facility is a significant milestone in the commercialisation of Solar Systems’ unique ‘Dense Array’ CPV technology,” Silex Systems chief executive officer Dr Michael Goldsworthy said in the copany’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The first array consisting of 10 dish systems has been successfully commissioned and is operational, with the remaining three arrays of 30 dishes to be brought online progressively over the next few weeks.

“We are very excited about the commercial prospects for this technology, which will potentially provide very low cost electricity from large utility-scale solar power station projects planned for deployment around the world.”


Mildura CPV demonstration facility. Source: Company announcement


The Mildura Demonstration Facility and associated product development program has received financial support from the Victorian State Government to the tune of a $10 million funding package.

It has also received additional financial support from the Australian Federal Government.

Silex said the planning phase for the next stage of the project, the 100MW Mildura solar power station project, is scheduled to commence construction late in 2014, subject to successful operation of the Mildura Demonstration Facility and finalization of funding arrangements.

Construction of a 1MW demonstration plant at the Nofa Equestrian Resort near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is expected to be completed in the third quarter 2013.

This will be the first offshore demonstration facility using Solar Systems’ ‘Dense Array’ CPV Dish technology.