Caltex opens solar-powered fuel stations in remote WA
The Pilbara has two new fuel stops, however these are unmanned and free from mains power
Caltex believes it has built the world’s first fully-transportable solar-powered retail fuel outlets to supply diesel to remote parts of Western Australia.
Located in the Pilbara region, the two sites at Tom Prince (above) and Onslow are completely solar-power and on-site battery reliant and are part of Caltex’s goal to extend the reach of its national network.
Caltex’s Western Australia network development manager Leon Calvetti says getting fuel to the sites, both over 1,300km from Perth, isn’t an issue, but the lack of mains power is.
"The obstacle is powering the pumps so the fuel can get into the customer’s tank – it’s very expensive and inefficient to run a generator when there are only a handful of customers every day," he says.
"It’s also difficult to locate staff in the middle of the Pilbara many hours’ drive from the nearest major town."
The answer came through solar power, Calvetti says, which is both efficient and expandable.
"By creating what we believe are the world’s first fully solar-powered fuel facilities, we can efficiently provide diesel in some of the most remote locations of Australia," he says.
"The other benefit of these sites will come when, at some stage in the future, there is no longer the same demand in that area – if that happens we can simply relocate the entire facility to a new part of the country, as everything on the site is easily transportable by truck.
"The whole design is tailored to Australian conditions, given the abundant sun and the long distances between service stations."
The fuel solution works 24 hours a day and is paid for via a card payment system.