Oakey Solar Farm Project

It is key that an exact screening process is implemented when selecting a site, as considerable time and resources are expended to prove that a site is indeed feasible for development. Screening filters employed by Canadian Solar include assessment of solar resource, terrain, vegetation, land usage, flood impact, parcel size, zoning, proximity to medium and high voltage networks, proximity to load demand, accessibility for transport and impact on adjoining residences.

One key element to ensure the Project can indeed proceed is a willingness to commit on the part of the landowners. Canadian Solar has secured the land after entering into an Option to Lease Agreement with the local farming company. Although the surrounding area is agricultural land, solar PV will co-exist as it sustainably harvests a natural resource and will add diversity to the landowner’s income. In addition, the local community will also benefit from increased economic activity during the construction phase of the Project

A Development Approval was granted for the proposed Project by Toowoomba Regional Council on 22 April 2015 (Council Reference MCUI/2014/3744) and allows 6 years to commence the approved works.

System Highlights (Stage 1)

System peak dc capacity: 30 MW dc
System ac rated nameplate power: 25.0 MW ac
Annual energy yield: 59.9 GWh/yr
Solar panels: Canadian Solar MaxPower2 CS6U

The Project site area is approximately 60 hectares and will feature 93,600 solar modules and will generate approximately 59.9 GWh  of clean, renewable energy each year, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources while contributing to the meet the Renewable Energy Target. The Project has been designed using single-axis tracking technology, the technology allows solar panels to tilt in the direction of the sun, maximising the total energy generated and the effectiveness and efficiency of each panel.

In order to capture more accurate solar resource data for future production estimates, a solar irradiance monitoring station is deployed on-site since November 2013. The data collected by the monitoring station will be combined with correlations from several years of historical meteorological data to forecast accurate production estimates.

Detailed studies have confirmed the suitability of the connection at Oakey 110/33/11 kV substation to allow for interconnection of the solar power plant.