Moree Solar Farm Construction Update

Construction commenced in February this year and only 7 months later the construction of this 56MWac / 70.1MWdc single axis tracking solar PV facility is well advanced. The construction works currently involve the installation of the framing system which consists of the BladePiles and the NexTracker tracking systems, the JA Solar photovoltaic modules, the DC and AC wiring of the electrical equipment, the 22/66kV on-site substation and the 66kV transmission line. 

The construction of the Operation and Maintenance facility which houses the solar farm’s control room and warehouse has also seen significant recent progress with the foundations now complete. 

Framing System: A significant milestone for Moree Solar Farm is fast approaching with 100% of the piling works expected to be completed by middle the of September. Approximately 95% of the 31,000 piles are now installed. These 3.6 long steel piles support the tracking system and solar panels and are manufactured by an Australian company based on the Gold Coast. 70% of the framing of the tracking system has also been installed which consists of the horizontal steel tubes and brackets. Moree is the first large scale facility in Australia to utilise a tracking system and the key feature of this particular system is that each row of frames has its own motor and the rows can be individually operated which provides better redundancy for the overall system. The motors are operated by batteries which are charged from an additional solar panel mounted on each tracker.

PV Module Installation & Wiring: Moree Solar Farm has achieved a key project milestone in August with 50% of all solar modules  installed on the trackers. The PV modules capture the sun's energy and convert it into electricity. Approximately 2m x 1m in size, each PV module is capable of producing 315 Watts of power. Covering an area of more than 440,000 square meters, or 110 acres, Moree Solar farm will comprise over 222,000 modules. The PV modules are required to be connected into strings of 20 modules then these strings are connected in parallel to feed the 56 solar inverters positioned across the site via underground wiring. All 56 inverters are now on site and the wiring across the site is progressing well. 

22/66kV MSF Sub-station: The 56 solar inverters are installed in 28 power blocks. Each power includes two inverters and one 0.4kV/22kV transformer. Energy from the solar panels are converted into AC (Alternating Current) electricity which can be fed into the national electricity grid. All of the 28 power blocks are connected to main 22/66kV substation currently being built on site. Moree Solar Farm has received its main transformer which is now  installed on site; this transformer steps the voltage up from 22kV to 66kV. The rest of the sub-station construction is progressing well including the control buildings and foundations. The switchyard will be handed over to Essential Energy upon completion. 

Transmission Line: Another milestone was achieved recently when the 4km long dual circuit 66kV overhead transmission line construction was completed. This is the first part of the 13.5km long overhead transmission line connecting the solar farm to the National Electricity Market. The construction of the remainder of the line will commence later in September. 

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