Ahead of full commercial operation in September, the first batch of solar panels have just been switched on at the Collinsville Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project, which is located in the Whitsunday Region in Queensland.
Things are starting to power up at the $100 million 42.5-megawatt Collinsville PV Project through a staged testing and commissioning process which is being conducted by project developers Ratch Australia Corporation.
Ratch Business Development’s Executive General Manager, Mr Anthony Yeates, said the testing started the electrification of the Collinsville project. This stage follows the installation of approximately 164,000 PV solar panels and over 550 kilometres of cabling and the refurbishment of the site’s substation which is now energised and will be connected to the national electricity grid.
“First generation is a meaningful milestone as we’re now generating and exporting electricity to the grid. We’ll be ramping up the amount of generation as the project reaches completion point next month,” Mr Yeates commented, “the project showcases how old coal-fired generation sites can be repurposed as new renewable energy bases, benefiting from existing infrastructure, while helping to transform Australia’s energy mix.”
Construction on the project began in May 2017, and since then several workers and heavy machines on site have sported the names of local businesses.
“The project’s success has a lot to do with all the hard work invested by local contractors and suppliers, many of whom have been with us from the start,” Mr Yeates explained.
The Collinsville solar farm is set to deliver close to 130,000-megawatt hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 15,000 Whitsunday homes over a 20-year period. Alinta Energy will purchase electricity and Large-scale Generation Certificates generated by the farm through to the end of 2030.
More information on the project can be found here.