During the last years, Australia has made significant progress in the alternative energy field. Recently, in the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia, Horizon Power’s Pippunyah Solar Diesel Power Station officially opened.
Being the world’s first hybrid solar power plant, it is equipped with 1,350 SunPower solar panels that are able to follow the sun and generate about 1160KW of clean electricity. It is expected that the plant will produce up to 89 percent of the town’s energy needs, especially during the summer months.
According to some reports, the solar hybrid power plant will save 412,000 liters of fuel annually and 1,119 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. It also features a single axis tracking system (being the Australia’s largest) which is combined with the latest diesel technology, used for backup. The electricity produced by the solar farm is captured in an innovative flywheel energy storage system.
It will not be the single diesel solar power plant of its kind, because another station using the same technology is currently under construction at Nullagine, 88km south of Marble Bar. Horizon Power also said that they have plans to create other solar farms in Yungngora (Noonkanbah) and in the remote Aboriginal towns of Kalumburu.
[Source: Energy Matters]