Solar plants can be beautiful, too

“It will probably be the world’s first beautiful PV (photovoltaic) plant, and perhaps the first beautiful power station of any description, anywhere on the planet.”

So said David McCallum, managing director of Conergy Australia, which is building a four-hectare solar site on the French overseas territory of New Caledonia – 750 miles east of Australia’s Gold Coast – in the shape of a heart.

The heart shape, which is only visible from the air, is inspired by the “Coeur de Voh”, or “Heart of Voh”, an area of wild mangrove vegetation that has naturally taken the shape of a heart and is to be found near the four-hectare PV site in Pouembout, Grand Terre, New Caledonia’s largest island.

The 2-megawatt peak (MWp) project was commissioned by TIEA Energy, a subsidiary of local beverage company Froico, and will have 7,888 panels generating enough electricity to support 750 homes. Germany’s Conergy is expected to complete construction work, alongside local contractor AMBI Energy, in the first quarter of next year.

“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,” McCallum noted. Which just goes to prove there’s a first time for everything.