Floating solar farm opened at Jamestown | PHOTOS Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.
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Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Australia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown.

Raj Nellore, Infratech Industries, at the opening.

Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter opened the floating solar farm.

Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter with Felicia Whiting from Infratech Industries

Northern Area Council Mayor Denis Clark, Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter, CEO Infratech Industries Raj Nellore , CEO Northern Area Council Colin Byles and Felicia Whiting from Infratech Industries.

TweetFacebookAustralia’s first floating solar panel officially opened at Jamestown, in South Australia’s Mid North.

Northern Areas Council Mayor, Denis Clark, said he was excited about what this would mean for the region.

“This is an Australian first for floating solar power, and it’s a great way to put the Northern Areas Council on the map,” he said

“This is brand new technology and it will raise the profile of the town.”

Climate ChangeMinister Ian Hunter attended the launch, and officially opened the facility.

“I am impressed with the ‘go getter’ attitude of the Northern Areas Council, and their willingness to embrace innovation and providing a future for your communities,” he said during his speech.

Infratech Industries was behind the construction, and chief executive Dr Rajesh Nellor says the facility has multiple benefits.

“This is a floating solar concept; it avoids taking land that could be used for other purposes, such as agriculture.

“This is not a facility that just supplies power, it helps in water conservation, it helps prevent water evaporation, and it helps reduce blue-green algae which is a major issue with a lot of water utilities,” he said.

“It’s got a concentrating system, a cooling systems and a tracking system, so it tracks the brightest spot in the sky.”

The basin opened today will provide power toNorthern Areas Council Waste Water Treatment Plant in Jamestown, and construction is still not over.

“There are other basins at this location, and we do intend to fill those basins with other kinds of solar technology,” said Dr Nellor.

The additional basins will assist powering council operations and the local community.

“Ninety per cent of the materials used have been sourced locally, and when I say locally I mean here in South Australia,” said Dr Nellor.

During his address, Mayor Denis Clark said today’s launch was a proud moment in the history for the Northern Areas Council.

“Northern Areas is our part of South Australia, we pride ourselves on agriculture, forestry, livestock, wind energy, and for being the gateway to Flinders Ranges.”

“Partnering with Infratech Industries we are using Australian labour and Australian materials,” he said.

“Sixty-nine people were involved with this project, and although those jobs weren’t local when you’ve been around town seeing the different vehicles and the guys that have been here putting this together, there’s still a benefit to our town because they’ve got to eat and stay in our facilities.”

The facility will generate an estimated 57 per cent more power than fixed land based solar systems, with The Northern Areas Council expected to save approximately 15 percent on their current energy expenditure.

“This facility can be hosted on any body of water, including moving water such as lakes,” said Mayor Clark.

“We’re asking other Australians to invest in their own communities.”

MrHunter believed the facility was a great way of looking at a problem and coming up with a solution that addressed two or three problems at the same time.

“What we are striving for as a government in South Australia is emulating what this council has been able to achieve.

“Climate change is a challenge that faces all of us, and we can’t afford as a country to do absolutely nothing about it, South Australia has decided to, in many respects, go it alone and lead the way nationally in terms of climate change,” he said.

Other council members from throughout the region also attended the event.

John Hadley, manager for works and technical services for the District Council of Mount Remarkable and Deputy Mayor Colin Nottle were very interested in possibly implementing the technology for their council.

“We have basins at Melrose, Wilmington and Booleroo, with a new one opening soon in Wirrabara,” said Mr Hadley.

“We think a facility like this would do really well at the new location in Wirrabarra,” he said.

Principalof the Jamestown Community School, Mat Evans, said the event was a significant moment for the region.

“The deputy principal, Jessica Hounsell and myself are here to investigate how we can get the kids involved and learning about solar power,” he said.

People from the region and interstate attended the opening, curious and impressed by the technology.

Dave Clarke, from Crystal Brook, said “it’s a very innovative idea, combining solar panels with evaporation reduction.”

Rod and Miriam Jamieson, from Queensland, were in the region for a holiday and decided to attend the opening.

“We’re so interested in the technology and the potential for its use, plus it’s a great excuse to spend the night in the Clare Valley.”

Source: The Flinders News

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