Trackers allow PV to work well on difficult terrain

15.09.2015
Very high solar yields despite difficult conditions (Photo: Deger)
Very high solar yields despite difficult conditions (Photo: Deger)

The SunMine project in the Canadian city of Kimberley recently went into operation. The 1.05-MW solar project is British Columbia’s first grid-connected solar facility, as well as being Canada’s largest project to use solar trackers. Production data since 22 June confirms that the energy being generated by the SunMine is exceeding the modelled design potential.

The project is special for a number of reasons: The solar park was built over a former mine, which makes the terrain difficult, and the ground might also settle further during the coming years. In addition, the terrain is sloped. Because of these conditions, Kimberley opted for a Tracker solution by the German manufacturer Deger.

Deger installed ninety-six D100 trackers above the mine in Kimberley. The trackers are each equipped with 42 solar modules, have a total capacity of 1 MW and produce solar power for approximately 500 households. For Deger, the solar park in the Canadian town in British Columbia is proof that its patented tracking systems are the optimum solution for difficult conditions like these: The terrain at the site is sloped, interspersed with rocks and still settling in some places, and the system is particularly well-suited for this. The trackers automatically align their modules to collect as much energy as possible, even if the inclination of the ground changes later.

Planning for the SunMine project took almost one year. Deger helped the Canadian project team to calculate the optimal layout as well as anchor the trackers in the difficult ground. The yield calculations were also carried out jointly.

According to Deger, the SunMine project is just the beginning when it comes to mines: Solar tracking systems are an excellent value-creating alternative for operators of mines that are either decommissioned or still in use around the world: The land above the mine, which would otherwise remain unused, can put to good use for generating solar power.

In any case, Kimberley's Mayor Don McCormick is enthusiastic: “SunMine is a great example of the resiliency of our community.  We are thriving and pursuing new and innovative directions. Although SunMine is the largest solar facility in BC, it is relatively small. As the SunMine proves its potential, the City of Kimberley is looking to expand it and has already had several inquiries from prospective partners.”

For Scott Sommerville, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kimberley, SunMine is a symbol of Kimberley’s commitment to the environment: “When Kimberley’s mineral resources were depleted, we took advantage of our solar potential and developed a new resource that is renewable.” Kimberley receives the most sunshine in B.C. (over 300 days per year), and the community-owned SunMine is well suited to capitalise on these clear and sunny conditions.

Bodo Höche / Deger

Similar Entries

As the pilot phase shows, the patented innovation developed by plusAmpere has enormous potential: The use of the innovative reflector and calculation system improves the worldwide yields of photovoltaic facilities (PV facilities), making them more profitable and cost-efficient (pict. plusAmpere)

The company plusAmpere introduces an innovative “reflector and calculation system” offering an efficient and inexpensive way of increasing the overall yield of existing and newly planned photovoltaic and solar thermal facilities.

(pict. SH Group A/S)

New easy-to-maneuver transportation solution enables safe, easy and secure transportation of large wind blades on rough and uneven surfaces.

Global Energy Storage Systems Market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $340 billion to over $500 billion by 2025; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Renewables covered around 52 percent of gross power consumed in Germany during the first quarter of 2020. This all-time high was driven by a combination of one-off events. Preliminary calculations by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) yielded this figure. February’s record winds were followed by an unusually sunny March. Power consumption was also down by one percent from the same period last year.