Photon energy

Yadnarie Solar Farm

Learn more about the planned 300 MWp Yadnarie solar power plant and what it will mean for residents.

Photon Energy is proposing to build and commission a 300 MWp solar power plant in Yadnarie, utilising technology developed by our strategic partner RayGen Resources Pty Ltd (RayGen).

The technology proposed and scale of electricity storage is new to the South Australian renewable energy sector and comprises RayGen’s proprietary PV Ultra and Thermal Hydro technologies.

The proposed development is a facility with 300 MWp of solar generation, 150 MWp grid connection and 3.6 GWh of energy storage, equivalent to 24 hours of dispatchable energy.

In order to be as close as possible to residents and keep them informed we have set up this community engagement page to interact with residents, hear their questions and potential concerns and inform them about all possible aspects of the project and solar energy in general.

 

General Information

Project Name Yadnarie Solar Farm
Capacity 300 MWp
Storage Capacity 3.6 GWh
Grid Connection 150 MWp
Location Yadnarie, South Australia
Size 960 ha
Construction Period Q3 2023 – Q1 2024
Annual CO2 Savings   750,000 t
Annual Production   1,000,000 MWh

 

 

Location

 

Project Progress

Grid Connection Process

5%

Development Approval Process

5%

Construction

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Operation

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About RayGen’s Solar Technology

We are proud to have partnered on this project with RayGen, an industry-leading solar technology company.

RayGen has developed a groundbreaking, low-cost solar-plus-storage energy solution by combining its proprietary PV Ultra solar technology, which generates both electricity and heat, with Thermal Hydro, a tailored electro-thermal storage cycle.

By combining high-efficiency concentrated PV generation with thermal absorption and storage, RayGen has achieved the highest energy density of any solar technology available today.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch through the contact form below or by calling +61 2 8021 3383. 

How long will the construction take? Will it be noisy and dusty?

The installation of this technology is a fairly quick process, with little digging and noisy work involved. There is much less “messy” construction work involved than in, for example, constructing a building.

The project will involve the construction of several Thermal Hydro systems, consisting of insulated, covered dams, as well as the construction of RayGen’s PV Ultra technology, consisting of heliostat and tower construction.

RayGen’s PV Ultra has a relatively light footprint compared to traditional solar panels. RayGen’s heliostats (mirrors) are simply pile-driven into the ground. There is no field wiring, trenching or communication cabling within the mirror field. The mirrors communicate wirelessly and all sunlight is reflected to the central receiver. There are no heat islands.

The installation should take approximately 18 months. Construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2023.

Will the solar energy produced be fed directly into our houses?

No. The solar power plant will feed all the energy produced into the national electricity grid either through a connection to the existing Yadnarie substation, or directly into the 132 kV line located on the site of the proposed facility. The method of connected is currently under investigation with ElectraNet, a South Australian electricity transmission company.

Does the production of solar energy produce fumes or create noise?

No. The beauty of solar energy is that no sound or fumes are produced. In fact, the only product of a solar power plant is renewable solar energy.

Some minor noise will be emitted from industrial chillers and Organic Rankine Cycle Engine (similar to an industrial refrigeration plant).

Can glare from solar panels be annoying to residents or dangerous to drivers?

RayGen’s technology directs sunlight to solar modules atop a general receiver (tower), using ground-mounted heliostat (mirrors). Minimal glare is produced by the heliostats. The solar modules that sit atop the tower do emit some light. During daylight hours (not at night), the PV Ultra receiver is bright, and looks similar to ‘sports field lights left on during the day’. We prioritise our relationship with the community, and seek to minimize impact where possible, including tower brightness.

For the Yadnarie project, the glare will be directed away from major roads and residential buildings so minimal impact is expected. Screening techniques will be implemented where required for this project to minimise any potential visual impact.

Are solar panels manufactured with toxic metals that could contaminate installation sites and pollute landfills if discarded?

RayGen’s solar modules are manufactured in Australia with no toxic metals utilized during production. The solar modules are an Australian innovation that are protected by six patent families. The development and commercialisation of the modules and overall technology has been supported by state and federal government organisations. Now the modules are commercially proven and ready for deployment.

The solar modules are positioned atop a tower. On the ground, the majority of infrastructure is composed of steel (heliostats and towers), mirrors (heliostats) and covered, insulated water pits.

The technology infrastructure allows for sheep grazing under the system to keep the grass growing, with no side effects.

What happens in 30 years, when the power plant gets too old?

Although this project has been designed with a lifespan of 30 years, the system can be upgraded easily.

The majority of components within the system are mirrors and steel, which have a long lifetime and are able to be replaced easily. The solar modules have a lifetime of 30+ years. Each solar module is 10x10cm and is situated inside a receiver at the top of a tower. The receiver holds multiple of these modules.

If required, the receiver can be lowered down from the top of the tower, and the modules inside can be replaced. This enables the option for the plant to be upgraded for future use after the initial lifespan of 30 years.

Due to the small area of solar module at 10cm x 10cm, the system produces 99.9% less e-waste compared to typical solar + battery project. A typical 1GW solar + storage project requires 25,000 shipping containers of eventual e-waste: 24,000 shipping containers of solar panels, and 1,000 shipping containers of lithium-ion batteries. These 25,000 shipping containers of materials can be highly toxic and uneconomic to recycle. By contrast, RayGen’s technology requires just 12 shipping containers of modules for a typical 1GW solar + storage project. The remaining materials (mirrors, steel, water) can be sourced locally and recycled easily.