Solar Farms in Australia
A solar farm is a term used to describe large-scale PV installations that collect massive amounts of solar energy. These farms are scattered all around the world, taking advantage of the locations with the highest amount of solar radiation. These Systems are massive undertakings and take years to come to fruition. The Queensland Solar farm guide splits this process up into six stages:
- Site Selection: Selecting an appropriate location for a solar farm takes many factors into consideration, such as required characteristics for operation, Cultural or Environmental significance, and proposed boundaries and feasibility of construction.
- Project Feasibility: Involves developing a preliminary site layout, gaining ownership of the proposed site, and overcoming any issues identified in the previous stages that could affect the construction and operation of this site.
- Detailed Assessment, planning, and approvals: Completion of multiple studies to allow for a complete design and obtaining all required permits and approvals from the local council or governing body.
- Construction: Normally done in 6 steps, Site Establishment, Site Preparation, Materials Delivery, Construction, Transmission Infrastructure, and Grid Connection and commissioning.
- Operations: Developing the infrastructure required for continued successful operation and upkeep of the system.
- End of life management: Involves maintaining the solar farm and developing a plan for its eventual environmentally responsible decommissioning.
Currently, the largest solar farm in the world is in China with 3500000 solar panels producing over 1500 megawatts of energy, however by the end of the decade, Australia will hold this title, with a 10-gigawatt array being built in our backyard. The Australian-ASEAN Power Link will be built in the northern territory and will feed power directly to Singapore, utilizing the world's largest submarine power cable.
Why would Singapore build such a significant system on Australian soil? This is because parts of Australia have the highest concentrations of solar radiation in the world, making us the ideal location for the production of solar energy. The map below proves this, with the area in the middle of the circle showing the area of solar required to produce all the power in Australia and the green circle showing the area required to power the entire world.
While this undertaking means many jobs for Australian workers, none of the power produced will be available to us, with all power produced being exported to Singapore. This means that we are still living in ideal solar conditions, but many individuals are still paying for power that could be coming from the sun. If we Australians have to deal with sunburns all year round, we might as well make the best of our situation and use our overabundance of sunshine for good. If you are looking to take advantage of our ideal solar conditions, feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced solar designers below!
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