The Yarranlea Solar Farm, located approximately 50km west of Toowoomba, Queensland, is a 100-megawatt AC solar farm. The farm produces enough energy to power 32,000 homes and connects to the power grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, located adjacent to the development site. It will transmit power into Toowoomba via the Middle Ridge Bulk Supply Substation.
SMEC was engaged to develop Yarranlea solar farm in 2017 and completed the project and generator registration in early 2020. SMEC utilised the latest PV panel technology and plans for integrated battery storage which allows the solar farm to supply power to the grid during periods of peak demand. The facility has an operating life of 30 years, with the option for extensions. At the end of the facility’s useful operating life, all physical infrastructure will be decommissioned, and the land will be returned to its former agricultural use.
Inclusive of the Yarranlea Solar Farm, SMEC has been directly involved in the development of over 6.4GW worth of utility-scale solar farms in Australia.
SMEC was initially engaged to undertake the design of certain components on the solar farm. This included:
- Civil design, incl general layout, roads, bulk earth works, erosion and sediment control and foundations for various pieces of equipment
- Electrical design including DC and AC distribution, earthing, communications and specification of specific items such as inverter stations, combiner boxes.
Then our scope of work was expanded to include the following:
- Pile design on behalf of the tracker manufacturer
- SCADA specification
- Council approval of changes to the Development Approval
- Scopes of works for construction contractors
- Electrical and lighting design of O&M building
- Pile refusal plan and pile remediation plan
- Construction support
- Earth grid testing
- Protections settings
- As built drawings
- Performance testing regime
- Flood modelling
“SMEC has proven to be a reliable and competent partner in the delivery of this project. The knowledge and experience of SMEC’s engineers has helped us avoid challenges that are commonly encountered in the development of solar farms and we believe that their design solutions have allowed us to lower our capital costs, while ensuring operational reliability over the life of the asset. I was also pleased at the breadth of services that are offered by SMEC,” said Risen Energy, Project Director Nick Kitchen.
- Queensland, Australia
- Technical Area:
- Risen Energy