- Friday 12 May 2017
The last of 57,960 panels was installed today (May 12) at the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm, signalling the end of the construction process.
Work will continue on wiring the network of panels to the Energex switch-yard before commissioning Australia’s largest council-owned solar farm begins.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the end of the construction phase was another step closer to seeing the solar farm operational mid-2017.
“The perfect weather conditions over summer were great for the three onsite crews who had the job of securing the panel tables into place. Their record was 41 tables in one day,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“During the peak of the construction phase, the solar farm saw 60 to 100 workers at the Valdora site each day.
“On average, it took the crews 30 minutes to build a table, crane it into position and secure it in place.
“The project is on track to be operational mid-2017 and when complete, this council will be the first local government authority in Australia to offset 100% of its electricity consumption across all its facilities and operations.
“That will be an outstanding result for our community and strongly aligns with our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.”
Divisional councillor Steve Robinson congratulated the construction crews on a job well done.
“I also want to offer a big thank-you to the local community and neighbours for their continued support as the project progressed,” Cr Robinson said.
“Council’s annual electricity bill is about $9.7 million, and rising.
“Not only will the solar farm completely offset our usage, but over a 30-year period, it will provide $22 million in savings, after costs, based on today’s electricity prices.”
Once the commissioning is complete, council will plant more than 36,000 trees to create a 10-metre green buffer around the solar farm.