Solar technology from Down Under will soon be providing power in California, as the company behind the world’s first-ever floating solar plant just exported its technology to the U.S. CleanTechnica reports that Sydney-based Infratech Industries has sold its floating solar technology to the City of Holtville, an agricultural center in southeast California. The planned 1 megawatt system appealed to the people of Holtville due to its ability to save vital farmland space, while providing clean energy. Holtville’s system will include a total of 3576 solar panels floating on 276 rafts with 12 treatment pumps.
The technology behind Infratech’s solar system was developed by a team of 15 engineers and academics from the Nano Science and Technology Department at Australia’s Flinders University. The company installed its first-ever showcase project earlier this year in Jamestown, South Australia.
All components needed for the project will be made in Australia, a place Infratech CEO, Rajesh Nellore experience similar environmental conditions as those in the Holtville area. “Australia, like Holtville, is an arid area subject to harsh climates and drought,” he notes. “Floating solar and other sustainable initiatives can ensure farmers have access to renewable power and clean water without using valuable land. Holtville and Jamestown are proof points of what is possible when people look to sustainable infrastructure initiatives to power their communities.”
In Holtville, the system will be installed in the city’s new water treatment facility, where predictions show it will produce 20 percent more power than a similar land-based system. Along with power production, the system will also reduce water evaporation and improve water quality by reducing the need for chemical treatment use – through simply shading the surface of the water.
Holtville Mayor James Predmore says adopting the system is a step in the right direction. “Installing Infratech’s floating solar system is the right move for Holtville, and further proves our progressive approach to infrastructure and the environment,” Predmore said. “This move puts us ahead of the rest of the US.”