Following the UN climate talks this week in New York City, Conergy announced that it will build a one-of-a-kind heart-shaped solar power plant in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, 750 miles east of the Australian Gold Coast.
The four-hectare site is located in the northern community of Pouembout, on Grand Terre, New Caledonia’s largest island, where 7,888 panels will generate enough electricity to supply approximately 750 homes. The 2 MW project was commissioned by TIEA Energie, a subsidiary of local beverage company Froico SA. Conergy will begin engineering and construction (EPC) work in the coming months, partnering with local contractor AMBI Energy.
The power plant’s eye-catching heart shape will only be visible from the air, when it is completed in the first quarter of next year. Called the Heart of New Caledonia, it will save an estimated two million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its projected 25-year lifetime, compared with power from oil, gas and coal, which generate the majority of the islands’ power today.
The unique design is inspired by the Coeur de Voh, or Heart of Voh, an area of nearby wild mangrove vegetation that has naturally taken the shape of a heart.
“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,” says David McCallum, managing director, Conergy Australia. “The Coeur de Voh is an important landmark for the people of New Caledonia and shows just 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 a new power plant wherever it’s required and still keep a lid on carbon emissions.”
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