News

Work starts on solar plant at UQ Gatton

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, UQ Professor Paul Meredith, First Solar's Rob Bartrop and Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio check out one of the 40,000 solar panels to be installed at the site of the UQ Gatton research plant.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, UQ Professor Paul Meredith, First Solar's Rob Bartrop and Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio check out one of the 40,000 solar panels to be installed at the site of the UQ Gatton research plant. Derek Barry

NO matter what time of year, chances are it's sunny in the Lockyer Valley - throw in a major university campus and it's the perfect site for the southern hemisphere's largest solar research project.

That's what happening at University of Queensland, Gatton, which will also be Queensland's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project providing enough electricity to power 450 homes.

UQ has partnered with American company First Solar who make the solar panels and have also begun construction on the 10ha Gatton site which was a former Second World War airfield.

UQ's Professor Paul Meredith said $15m would be spent at Gatton on a solar array of 40,000 advanced-thin PV panels as part of $40m project with First Solar's primary solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill in western NSW.

"The Gatton site will have a research building, the solar array itself and a bunch of very, very large batteries, Prof Meredith said.

"It will provide 3.275 megawatts of power, whereas for example you probably put three to five kilowatts on your house, so it's a thousand times bigger than that."

Prof Meredith said the array would contain different types of solar panels including fixed tilt, single axis and dual axis tracker technologies which would live side by side in the same field.

"This will allow us to compare the electrical and economic performance of multiple PV mounting technologies," he said.

UQ has signed an agreement with Energex which will allow the research provide insights into how to integrate renewable power plants with the conventional electrical grid.

"The connection agreement is likely to be the gold standard for connecting large-scale commercial systems like this," Prof Meredith said.

Prof Meredith said he expected the site to be operational before the end of 2015.

Topics:  solar, solar power, uq gatton


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Record show entrants at Esk

Faith White,   showed off Spanner at the Esk Show.

The Esk show was back over the weekend.

Bread rises to the challenge at show

WINNERS: The Old Fernvale Bakery team show off their awards with owner Lyn Rose.

The old Fernvale Bakery are winners at the Queensland Baking Show.

New recruits kick start policing roles in Gatton

NEW COPS: Gatton’s newest police recruits Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt.

Constables Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt are in town.

Latest deals and offers

Dawson’s drives in BORTA young drivers championship

Glamorgan Vale driver Nathan Dawson had the honour of wearing Racing Queensland’s BOTRA Young Drivers Championships silk at the weekend.

Record show entrants at Esk

Faith White,   showed off Spanner at the Esk Show.

The Esk show was back over the weekend.

Bread rises to the challenge at show

WINNERS: The Old Fernvale Bakery team show off their awards with owner Lyn Rose.

The old Fernvale Bakery are winners at the Queensland Baking Show.

New recruits kick start policing roles in Gatton

NEW COPS: Gatton’s newest police recruits Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt.

Constables Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt are in town.

Otis Ogg is back on Somerset Council

Somerset Regional Council councillor Otis Ogg.

Otis Ogg is all for the Somerset Region.

Kirby takes on junior coaching role

Lockyer Valley Basketball Association coach and player Rhiannon Kirby.

Junior basketballers in safe hands.

City’s most eligible bachelors go up for auction

Australia's favourite redhead twins and celebrity bachelors Stevie and Andy Mac will perform and be auctioned off at the Pink Hope Charity Male Auction Gala.

All women need to do is bid for the man who catches their eye

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago