Conergy announced that it will build a unique heart-shaped solar plant in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. However, due to its massive size, the solar plant’s heart-shape figure will only be visible in the air. The company building this special structure is one of the largest solar companies in the world. It certainly has the capacity to undertake this huge building project that will occupy a four-hectare area in the northern community of Pouembout, on Grand Terre, the largest island in New Caledonia.
When completed, the solar plant will be comprised of 7,888 solar panels. This New Caledonia solar plant is designed to produce enough electricity to power 750 homes. The 2 MW project was authorized by TIEA Energie, a division of Froico SA, a local beverage company. Construction will be undertaken by AMBI Energy, and is scheduled to start in the next few months.
The project called the “Heart of New Caledonia” is to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. Once commissioned and operational, it will enable the community to save about two million tons of carbon-dioxide emissions, throughout its estimated 25-year lifespan. Definitely, it is better compared to the energy produced from coal and fossil fuels which currently supplies the majority of electricity being used in the island.
Solar plant inspiration
The New Caledonia solar structure mirrors the “Coeur de Voh”, a nearby area inhabited by wild mangroves which nature has shaped into a heart. This place gained international recognition due to the aerial photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand, an environmental activist. He published amazing pictures of the island in his book “The World from Above.”
Message to Australia
David McCallum, Conergy’s Australian Managing Director says that his company hopes that this project will catch the attention of the Australian government. “In Australia and the Pacific Islands, solar is competitive to build and attractive to finance, since operating costs are low with no fuel dependency,” he says.
“With all of the uncertainty in the Australian market, the ‘Heart of New Caledonia’ project will be a giant heart-shaped message to the federal government that it’s time to start loving solar,” adds McCallum.
“Conergy builds all kinds of solar plants in challenging places and conditions, but we’ve never been asked to do one in the shape of a heart, or any other shape before,” he explains.
“The ‘Coeur de Voh’ is an important landmark for the people of New Caledonia, and shows how extraordinary nature can be. The ‘Heart of New Caledonia’ solar plant will be its man-made double, a landmark for clean power generation, showing that we can add new power plant wherever it’s required, and still keep a lid on carbon emissions,” he continues.
“It will also probably be the world’s first beautiful PV plant, and perhaps the first beautiful power station of any description, anywhere on the planet,” McCallum enthuses.
The solar plant portfolio of Conergy speaks for itself. The company has connected 650 MW of new solar capacity worldwide. Its projects include the first utility-scale facility of 13 MW solar plant in the Philippines and a 37 MW solar plant in Britain.