We aspire to do more than just build the infrastructure that will sustainably power Australia into the future. We are also committed to doing our part to support the development of the technology, skills and workforce that will see Australia become a renewable energy power house. We do this by working with tertiary institutions and industry partners to fund research, and participate in trials to help solve the critical challenges the industry will face in the decades ahead.

PV Industries Solar Circular trial

Spark Renewables is partnering with leading solar panel recycling and resource recovery company PV Industries to drive the diversion of solar panel waste from landfill and find sustainable end-of-life solutions for solar panels.

The project brings together a collaborative and industry-led approach to develop solar panel recycling and end-of-life solutions for the solar and lithium-ion battery economies.

As a part of the partnership with PV Industries, Spark Renewables will provide data from the Bomen Solar Farm to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and will allow the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to use Bomen Solar Farm as a testing ground for its Solar Panel Triage Unit technology. Solar panels have been provided to PV Industries for trialling their recycling technology and conducting research and development with UNSW.

The project has been funded under the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Circular Solar grants program.

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Tertiary institute funding and research collaboration

As a part of our commitment to support innovation and skills development in the renewables industry, we collaborate on research and trials with several leading Australian tertiary institutions.

We have a particular focus on supporting research and trials that drive the successful long-term co-location of agricultural and renewables projects to maximise the productivity of the land through co-existence of solar and agriculture work.

Initial trials of co-grazing activities have proven successful, with stock levels more than doubling since the trial began. Currently, we are sponsoring an agrisolar research trial with Charles Sturt University to identify systems for maximising productivity from grazing on Bomen Solar Farm, the results of which will contribute to the success of agrisolar practices on other solar projects.

We are also a member of the Clean Energy Council’s Agrisolar interest group, established to bring together members involved or interested in agricultural practices on solar farms to share what they are working on, hear from others, and discuss other innovations, studies or regulations relating to agrisolar initiatives.

Australia-first technology trial to lessen impact on solar farm neighbours

We are investing in an Australia-first technology to lessen the impact of solar projects on neighbours and surrounding community.

Since May 2021, the “TrueCapture” technology system has been deployed at our Bomen Solar Farm, allowing for the angle of individual trackers to be controlled. While this technology is generally used to increase electricity yield, Spark Renewables is the first in Australia to use this technology to adjust the angle of individual solar panels to mitigate neighbour visual impact.

By adopting this innovative technology on our solar farm, we have been able to significantly reduce the visual impact of the solar farm on our neighbours, and provide a solution that can used by other solar farms.