Report: Utility-scale solar tracking well in Australia

With more than 80 per cent of Australian utility-scale projects utilising trackers, the technology is an important topic of discussion at this week’s Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Today, Array Technologies released a regional report highlighting the impacts of tracker reliability on PV power plant viability and long-term asset value.

Drawing on independent research and analysis from TÜV Rheinland, the report provides insights into the Australian PV market and a detailed investigation into the engineering, design and operation of centralised and decentralised tracker architectures.

The study found Array’s centralised tracker architecture delivers levelised cost of energy (LCOE) savings of $16.7 million on a 100MW project when compared to decentralised technology over the lifetime of the system.

This is largely due to lower scheduled and unscheduled maintenance costs, with decentralised architectures having thousands more components, such as batteries and motors.

“Array sites require vastly lower O&M simply because there are more than 150 times fewer components that need to be maintained,” Array Technologies founder Ron Corio said.

“This is particularly important for solar investments in the Australian market, where unscheduled maintenance callouts are costly, and component replacement is time consuming and logistically challenging.”

Array Technologies pioneered solar tracking technology and has seen significant gains in the Australian market, obtaining 38 per cent market share according to Rystad Energy.

In the past 18 months, Array Technologies has been awarded 15 projects, amounting to more than 1GW of new solar capacity.

“The Australian utility-scale solar market is booming,” Array senior VP Jeff Krantz said.

“Our solar trackers are being installed across the nation, with the highest concentration in Queensland, but New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia are also adopting the technology at a fast rate.

“Given this world-leading uptake of tracking technology, it is crucial for solar investors to be knowledgeable about the risks and financial impacts of the different tracker technologies on the market.”