Using solar power to help meet the energy needs of remote populations

In Alice Springs, a small city located in central Australia, two solar tracking power stations have been constructed to help meet the energy needs of residents and businesses. The solar tracking power stations, known as Uterne and Uterne II, were both constructed using the world-leading solar technology of SunPower Corporation, a company that is majority owned by Total.

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    World-leading solar technology from SunPower Corporation (majority owned by Total).

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    ‘Uterne’, meaning ‘bright sunny day’ in the local Arrente language, is a fitting name for a solar power station based in Alice Springs.

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    There are more than 3,000 high-efficiency SunPower solar photovoltaic panels at the Uterne power station.

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    SunPower’s solar panels at Uterne generate up to 50% more electricity than conventional solar panels.

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    An aerial shot of the entire Uterne Power station operation.

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It's A Sunny Day At Uterne

At Total, we believe that solar energy will play an increasingly important role in the world’s energy mix as we look for ways to meet the world’s growing energy demand with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Our commitment to this is shown through our investment in SunPower and in research and development that is looking at ways to improve output, reduce costs and develop storage solutions for electricity generated from solar power. In Alice Springs, the 1MW Uterne Solar Power Station was built in 2011, underpinned by a 20-year agreement that the electricity generated would be sold to the Northern Territory Government’s Power & Water Corporation. Built using 3,000 high-efficiency SunPower solar photovoltaic panels, which generate up to 50% more electricity than conventional solar panels, the $6.6 million project was half funded by the Australian Government, under its Solar Cities program.

Solar Helps Power Alice Springs

In 2012, the Uterne solar power station was sold to Epuron Solar, an Australian renewable energy developer.  In 2015, Uterne II was constructed, adding another 3.1MW of electricity generation. Together, Uterne I and II provide 4% of the electricity needs of Alice Springs. Although both Uterne and Uterne II are owned by Epuron Solar, SunPower operates and maintains both plants.

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