Caltex Innovation: First Solar Powered Truck Stop Installed in Pilbara


Fuel transport company Caltex Australia has made news by building the world’s first off-grid, solar-powered truck stop and gas station in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

In this new project, Caltex seeks to blend excellence and innovation in its pursuit of expanding the truck refueling network which is consisting of 200 dedicated truck stops and 300 truck friendly sites.

The main highlight of the Pilbara project includes customized technology which suits the remoteness of the region.  The truck refueling facility does not use any commercial electric power. Rather, only solar panels and on-site battery were used to provide power, reports CNBC.

By creating the unique solar powered facilities, Caltex has demonstrated its commitment to deliver the highest efficiency in diesel supply even to the remotest location in Australia, noted  Caltex network development manager for Western Australia, Leon Calvetti.

“The biggest challenge of supplying fuel in remote parts of Australia isn’t getting fuel there,” Calvetti said in a statement.

He said the real issue is in powering the pumps and ensuring that the fuel gets into the vehicle’s tanks. “It’s very expensive and inefficient to run a generator when there are only a handful of customers every day,” Calvetti said.

He said Caltex has been trying to leverage Australia’s strengths as one of the largest countries and its abundant sunshine. They are already attested by Geoscience Australia, which said the Australian continent has “the highest solar radiation per square meter of any continent.”

The solar power generation is gaining traction the world over. The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated in 2014 that in the coming three decades, solar energy will be the biggest source of electricity.

Meanwhile, Australia’s largest hybrid solar installation has come up at Bundaberg School in Queensland. Thanks to the new facility, the electricity bill of Bundaberg Christian College has massively dropped.

The facility is backed by more than 700 solar panels and a large pool of batteries, reports The ABC. GEM Energy, the main contractor of the system, said it is the biggest hybrid solar installation in Australia.

According to Bundaberg Christian College business manager, Evan Keune, the solar system will produce 200KW of power. He also added that the college will be making substantial savings at the rate of $80,000 to $100,000 a year in terms of reduced energy bills.

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