Large Scale Solar
Large Scale Solar is considered as projects which have an installed capacity larger than 1MW, and are generally divided into two distinct categories - Utility Scale Solar and Large Commercial Solar.
Leveraging our knowledge and experience as briefly outlined in The Early Days, Coronium is able to provide the Australian industry practical and independent advice to successfully develop and construct Large Scale Solar.
Our first opportunity to develop a solar farm in Australia was in 2010 under the Solar Flagships Program. Our objective was to develop a 150MW plant (a task which had never been done before), coupled with the engineering design to meet Australian Standards.
The development process included the key activities of finding a suitable site, planning approvals, site metrological data and energy modelling, grid connection, off-take arrangements, project financing and community engagement.
Designing and building a utility scale solar farm is unique - a process of completing thousands of repeatable activities and processes. A small saving on a specific activity results in a large saving across a project of this size. It was for this reason that we again went overseas to Spain and Germany to benchmark and learn best practices.
An iterative process of design optimisation to maximise the amount of energy produced at the lowest cost is undertaken to produce the lowest cost of electricity (LCOE) on a $/MWh basis over the life of the plant.
Crucial to the success of these projects is a thorough understanding of system performance - not only in designing to achieve the guaranteed levels of performance, but also carefully negotiating the commercial contracts to minimise exposure and risk in the case of unlikely underperformance.
Since 2012, Coronium has been providing our services to developers and constructors, and is currently actively involved with many utility solar projects - some in development, several under construction and others in operation.
Please refer to our Projects page for details on some of Coronium’s Utility Scale Solar projects.
Coronium assists project owners develop and implement Large Commercial Solar projects, which are generally large rooftop or ground mounted systems “behind the meter”.
Our speciality is undertaking independent feasibility studies, and where the investment makes sense, presenting a strong business case to management.
In most cases, we can optimise the system and closely align the project to the stakeholder’s requirements, saving money and improving yield. Interestingly however, there have been a few examples where Coronium, as an independent advisor, has ultimately recommended for a project not to proceed – saving the owner a lot of money…
Subject to investment approval, Coronium develops the technical specification, runs the tender process for supply and install of equipment, and ultimately oversees the projects implementation and performance results. We have a tried and proven recipe which minimises owners risk and results in an optimised and cost effective outcome.
Please refer to our Projects page for details on some of Coronium’s Large Commercial Solar projects.
The use of storage technologies to complement both utility scale and large commercial solar projects is a subject that is currently of significant importance, and we will see its take-up steadily grow as the cost of storage solutions continue to fall.
For Coronium, the irony is that we have witnessed almost a complete full circle – the early days was purely small scale off-grid solar and batteries, progressing to larger but similar systems, through to small on-grid solar-only systems, and again progressing to either large or very large solar-only systems, and finally we are entering the era of on-grid solar with storage. What’s next? We have a few ideas…