Trina Solar powers landmark solar farm in  Australia

By Trina Solar
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Image Credit: Casella Family Brands, photography by Vince Bucello

Trina Solar has partnered with one of Australia’s largest family-owned wineries, Casella Family Brands, to inaugurate a 5.7MW solar farm near its production site in Yenda, New South Wales.  

The multi-million dollar solar farm comprises 8,730 low voltage Trina Vertex 650-655W (DEG21C.20) bifacial modules mounted on one hundred TrinaTracker Vanguard 2P trackers, capable of generating an annual 11.53GWh of electricity. This output will cover some 35% of the power needs of the Yenda facility, which processes and bottles the majority of the Casella  portfolio, including the globally popular ‘yellow tail’ wine.

The plant marks a paradigm shift, being the first in the Asia Pacific region to fully integrate Vanguard 2P trackers with large format low voltage 650-655W modules, a combination resulting in significant savings on electrical components and installation labour, and a significant reduction in levelized cost of energy (LCOE). As the industry’s only total solutions provider, Trina Solar has a unique top-down perspective on the technological know-how as to  how to overcome large module-tracker stability challenges due to the increased wind load caused by the size of the modules, which are now approximately 60% larger in area and 20% longer than their previous incarnation only a couple of years ago. The company carried out comprehensive wind tunnel tests with CPP and RWDI, the world’s leading wind energy consultancies, to ensure tracker stability in combination with the ultra-high power modules. The company’s intelligent tracking algorithm, SuperTrack, leverages AI to optimize panel tilt, further enhancing energy generation by more than 3%, with its Trina Smart Cloud, a tracker-side  power station digital platform, ensuring remote operations and maintenance diagnostics for maximum efficiency and reliability.

The plant is a significant milestone in Australia’s renewable energy landscape. During the 2020-21 financial year, Australia’s wine sector emitted more than 1.77 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and, with Wine Australia’s aim to reduce emissions across the supply chain by 42 per cent by 2030 using increased renewable electricity, the new venture is a major step in enabling one of the country’s largest wineries to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Casella GM for procurement, distribution and strategy Flaminio Dondina commented: “Solar energy is the most significant contributor to achieving our net-zero emissions pathway. When we decided to build a large solar farm to generate clean electricity for our production site, we wanted to partner with a leading manufacturer able to provide best-in-class, innovative solutions. Trina Solar pioneers solar technologies that are continuously evolving to meet the needs of the market. For our project, the company designed Australia’s largest 2-panel tracking system and supplied both this and the solar panels. Trina Solar’s support has been instrumental in achieving a successful outcome.”

Trina Solar Asia Pacific’s head for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Edison Zhou added: “Trina Solar is proud to support Casella Family Brands on this landmark project,  together with EPC provider Next Generation Electrical (NGE). Our cutting-edge solutions, coupled with innovative tracking technology, have enabled the company to harness the power of the sun on an unprecedented scale. This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to driving sustainable development and reshaping the future of renewable energy in Australia.”

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