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5B Boosts Financing for Solar Installed Robots – pv Magazine Australia

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Sydney-based solar pioneer 5B has launched a $ 33.4 million innovation program, including a $ 14 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It aims to accelerate the delivery of ultra-low cost solar. Most of the investment will be split into advanced manufacturing pilot lines, but about one-third of the available funds will be used to provide GPS-guided solar deployment robots.

January 18, 2022 Breakmatic

Sydney-based modular solar pioneer 5B today announced a $ 33.4 million innovation program to accelerate the delivery of “ultra-low cost solar.” The program is backed by a whopping $ 14 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Financing will take place less than a year after 5B completes the $ 12 million funding round. This includes investment support from former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Homes Court, director of the Smart Energy Council.

Last month, 5B acquired Adelaide’s manufacturing plant ahead of the global gigawatt-scale promotion of rapidly deployable modular prefabricated Maverick solar arrays. In a statement, 5B said that Maverick solutions are already cost-competitive in Australia and many other markets, and the program “takes advantage of advanced automation to dramatically improve the scalability and cost of 5B solutions. , Designed to enable end customers. ” To benefit from 30 cents of clean solar energy per watt installed by 2030. “

This ambition requires a 35% cost reduction by 2023 and a 70% cost reduction by 2030, both of which are projected to reach 5B.

Optimized for the company’s recently launched 550W module class, the 50kW (DC) Maverick has already been installed in 52 projects in Australia, the United States, Latin America and India, with a total capacity of 32MW. Maverick arrays are available in remote areas and mining operations, including the 12 MW system provided by Enerven for SAWater and the 4.3 MW project provided by Nomadic Energy Australia, an independent power provider for Western Australian miners Northern Star Resources. Proven to be popular. The 5Bs Maverick system is also the recommended technology for large 17-20GW PV cables developed in the Northern Territory for the purpose of exporting PV to Singapore via submarine transmission cables.

5B Maverick assembly.

Image: 5B

5B plans to use approximately two-thirds of its $ 33.4 million investment in the design and construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line (AMPL). In the last third, 5B states that it will use a robot to install a solar array using GPS-guided deployment (GGD) technology. That’s right, a GPS-guided solar-installed robot.

5B claims that artificial intelligence-enabled solar installations are the next frontier of solar technology and are advances that enable faster, cheaper, safer and more efficient solar farm construction.

“This program will bring a gradual change in automation capabilities and enable local manufacturing in Australia,” said Nicole Kuepper-Russell, Chief Operating Officer of 5B. “We are grateful that such ARENA supportive investment is essential to export cutting-edge clean technology to the world and to provide an opportunity to build Australia’s reputation as a clean energy superpower.”

Of course, ultra-low cost solar power at $ 15 / MWh (about one-third of today’s cost), which is the goal of the Australian Government’s Low Emission Technology Statement (LETS), is as ambitious as ARENA’s 5B. It means that you are willing to fund a good project.

Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA, said funding 5B could definitely reduce the cost of solar power. “Solar and wind are recognized today as Australia’s lowest cost forms of electricity, but we’re optimizing the transition to renewable electricity in Australia, enabling emerging industries such as renewable hydrogen and low-emission metals. In order to do so, we need to further reduce costs. “

“5B is Australia’s success story at the forefront of solar innovation,” Miller continues. Launched in 2013, they are now becoming leaders in locally manufactured ultra-low-cost solar products, rebuilding the solar industry and by 2030 at 30 cents per watt installed on a utility scale. You can achieve important goals. “

“The world is in rapid need of large-scale, ultra-low-cost solar power, and this funding will accelerate its supply,” Kuepper-Russell added.

The news arrives just a week after ARENA announces $ 40 million in R & D funding for a grab that spans two solar streams.

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