Uterne Solar Power Station

Mayor Damien Ryan officically launches the Uterne Solar Power Station on 28 July 20111 MW of solar in our sunny centre

A 1 MW solar power station has been built in Alice Springs and was developed in partnership between SunPower Corporation and Power and Water Corporation. This renewable energy installation is a key component of the Alice Solar City project and was officially launched on Thursday 28 July 2011 by His Worship the Mayor, Damien Ryan. 

Installing the cable at Uterne The $6.6 million power station was supported by $3.3 million in funding from the Australian Government as part of its $94 million Solar Cities program. It is the third iconic project to be installed in Alice Springs (after the 304 KW Crowne Plaza installation and the Alice Springs Airport 235 KW solar plant) and is currently the largest tracking solar power station in Australia. 
 
The plant consists of 3,048 ultra-efficient SunPower mono-crystalline panels installed across 254 tracking arrays. The installation covers more than three hectares on and Power and Water Corporation land.  
 
Each 318 watt module is mounted on a custom designed tracker that will follow the sun as it crosses over the sky.  The system is projected to produce 2300 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 270 average Alice Springs houesholds. The solar farm will produce about 1% of Alice Springs’ electricity a year and can meet 3% of peak demand on a sunny day. 
 
The Uterne power station, meaning ‘bright sunny day’ in the local Arrente language, was supported by Power and Water Corporation signing an agreement to purchase electricity from the 1 MW system for 20 years. The energy generated by Uterne is fed into the Alice Springs grid, and forms part of the mix of energy supplied to residents and businesses.

Viewing platform and interpretative centreA viewing platform with interpretive signage has been provided at the western end of Uterne. To get to the viewing station turn off the Stuart Hwy at Norris Bell Ave, and then right at the Transport Hall of fame on Montgomery Road, an unsealed road. Follow this for a short distance until you come to the viewing platform. Please note that this is a working power station and as such there is no public access within the compound.

To help celebrate the completition of this milestone in Alice Springs' adoption of renewable energy, Alice Solar City ran an open day on Saturday 30 July 2011 and offered the over 400 Alice Springs residents who came along to the Open Day the opportunity to enter a draw to win $1,000 or $250 in additional assistance towards improving energy efficiency in their homes. Denise Purdie from Ilpara and Steve Anderson were our lucky winners.

After a year of successful operation, the facility was sold to Epuron, an Australian renewable energy developer.

Read the Uterne fact sheet.

Read the Technical Details.

Uterne is located on the outskirts of Alice Springs

Read the Alice Solar City Media Release.

Read the Power and Water Media Release.

Read the SunPower Media Release.

Read the Media Release - Announcement of funding 15 December 2010.

 

 Some of the 3,048 ultra-efficient SunPower mono-crystalline panels installed across 254 tracking arrays.