The last 40 of 57,960 panels were installed at the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm mid-May 2017. This completes the main construction phase of the project. Each day during the peak of this phase, the Solar Farm had 60 to 100 workers onsite.
Connection phase: work continues on wiring the network of panels to the Energex switch-yard. To do this:
- 30 panels are wired together to make one string
- 320 strings make up one zone
- there are six zones in total across the Solar Farm
- each zone is connected to its own power conversion unit (six in total) to form a 2.5MWAC block
- the six power conversion units are connected to the Energex switch-yard by a network of 33kVAC power lines
- the six zones of 2.5MWAC add up to the 15MW Solar Farm
- Once the wiring is complete, the commissioning of the Solar Farm can begin.
Commissioning phase: during this phase, Energex will test the electricity generated by the Solar Farm to ensure it can be injected into the power lines safely and within specific limits dictated by the National Electricity Rules.
Summer record: the perfect weather conditions over summer provided ideal conditions for the three crews onsite securing the panel tables into place. Their record for the highest number of tables installed in one day was 41 (during February). On average, it would take the crews 30 minutes to build a table, crane it into position and secure it in place.
Energex switch-yard: the switch-yard is now live, which means power (33kVA) is flowing in and out. The Energex crew has done a great job getting the switch-yard ready on time. The next step is for it to be connected to the solar panels by July to begin funneling energy into the grid.
New intersection: the new road intersection is complete, providing safer access to the site.
Buffer planting works: work will soon begin on the buffer planting. More than 36,000 trees will be planted to create a 10 metre green buffer around the Solar Farm.
Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast is a membership-based eco business hub connecting eco-friendly businesses with consumers and Government. We provide the latest cleantech news, expert advice and growth strategies for cleantech business owners and supporters. To join CISC visit the membership page.Megyn Carpenter, President, Cleantech Industries