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Germany funds Australian solar-plus-storage pilot project for broadcaster

An antenna tower in Australia serving a broadcaster will be the site of a solar-plus-storage project funded by the German government and designed to deliver power 24 hours a day.

Photon Energy, originally founded in the Czech Republic but now headquartered in Holland, was selected for the project by the German Energy Agency (DENA).

Funding for the project came from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. The company will design, install and operate a 39kWp PV plant coupled with a 215kWh battery system on a broadcasting tower owned by Broadcast Australia (BAI) in Muswellbrook, New South Wales. The system will charge from the PV plant during the day, the battery system is combined with an 8KVa diesel backup generator to provide round-the-clock energy.

A recently completed Photon Energy commercial rooftop project in Australia. Image: Photon Energy.
The new system will replace the tower’s existing power supply system. Relatively small in size, it will utilise 96 solar panels, 24 batteries made by lead acid battery company BAE Batterien and supplied by Australian distributor R&J Batteries. It will also use three inverters made by SMA and a monitoring system. With the project carried out under the remit the DENA Renewable Energy Solutions Programme’s  initiative “renewables – Made in Germany”, most of the components of the system are sourced from German companies.

According to Photon Energy the project will “pioneer the use of renewable energy for communications infrastructure in remote locations” and could provide the basis for “thousands” of similar sites across Australia if successful.

The tower is owned by Australian broadcasting company BAI. Image: Photon Energy.

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