Belectric introduced a new, 2 megawatt utility-scale modular photovoltaic system last week. The system, the 2.0 MegaWattBlock, uses standardized equipment, and a design philosophy that allows for quickly deployable and expandable systems for commercial or utility customers.
The new system was devised to address land issues that impact utility-scale solar projects.
“In Europe, it’s getting harder and harder to find big blocks of land. In the U.S., surprisingly enough, we have a similar problem. The smaller projects are the only ones moving forward,” said David Taggart, president of Belectric USA.
Belectric’s new campaign aims to address the issue head-on.
“It’s basically a suite of components and a layout philosophy that can leverage whatever module make the most sense for the system,” Taggart said. He likened the modular system to how companies approach developing a wind farm. When someone orders a wind farm, they choose how many units they want and each unit is its own power station. “We’re providing that same ease of ordering for our customers.”
The wind has the same effect on all turbines, wherever they’re placed, differing only by the magnitude at which it blows, Taggart said. But with sunlight, depending on where the array will be located and weather conditions, different panels operate differently.
“So the MegaWattBlock [philosophy] will choose the best solar technology for the site based on the fusivity of the light,” he said.
The system will use the same inverters, the supplier of which has not been named, according to Taggart. Similarly, other components, like transformers, will be standardized for deploying the MegaWattBlocks. Those are likely to come from Belectric or its companies, he said.
Belectric, a german company, will first deploy the 2.0 MegaWattBlock system in Europe according to Taggart.
“Generally, that’s the trend. It’s actually much easier for them to introduce new ideas in Europe because of the way projects are permitted and the way they’ve established relationships there,” he said.
In the U.S., Belectric is offering smaller versions of the MegaWattBlock.
“Right now Belectric USA has a 1-megawatt and a 1.5-megawatt MegaWattBlock,” Taggart said.
Belectric also is working on developing larger modular units, according to Taggart. But to do that, the company has to move to higher voltage components.
Image courtesy of Belectric.