Simple and smart solar farm

Simple and smart solar farm opens west of Moree


This solar farm is like a 4WD "workhorse", says one of its developers.


The opening of the Kanowna solar farm west of Moree is the most recent demonstration of how a regionally based company - Meralli Solar - is changing the way solar power generation is done.

Opening the nine mega-watt Kanowna solar farm in late September, Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall told the crowd of 50 investors, guests and suppliers, that the project represented "what the future could possibly be like right across rural and remote NSW".

"Due to the farm's isolated location, engineers have pushed the boundaries when it comes to creating new ways to store solar power and connect to the grid," Mr Marshall said.

"I congratulate Meralli Solar on its drive to try and address some of the fundamental issues facing renewable energy companies in rural areas and it's great to see these innovations taking place in our region."

Read more: Remote areas lead the way in solar

Almost invisible from the road, the Kanowna project uses the low environmental impact PEG frame system to pack in in almost 28,000 solar panels, all sitting less that a metre high, over the relatively small area of just under seven hectares.

Meralli has used DC technology and battery storage to maximise the delivery and consistency of power to the grid.

One of Meralli's principals, David Mailler, likened the Kanowna project to the 4WD "workhorses" that regional Australia depends on.

He said the design was "ingeniously simple". Construction time on the project was just 10 weeks.

Read more: Start-up solves energy riddle

Noting the difficulty that Australian enterprises have competing for subsidies with overseas companies, Mr Mailler said that "Meralli was born out of sheer bloody-mindedness".

"With all our projects being entirely privately funded, we've proved the economics work. We're all about the triple bottom line: economics, social and environment," Mr Mailler said.