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


Stay Connected

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

Airshow is a soaring success

FLY HIGH: Brent Morton with his nephew Ezzy Castle at the Brisbane Valley Airshow on Saturday, August 27.

Thousands turned out to enjoy the Brisbane Valley Airshow.

Best foot forward when fighting cancer

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Face of Relay Tanya Falagan and LVRC Mayor Tanya Milligan opening our the Relay for Life event.

Relay for Life was back again.

Bianca's quest for rodeo royalty

QUEEN QUEST: Bianca Mason will travel to the Gold Coast for the Rodeo Council of Australia's Rodeo Queen finals next week.

Bianca Mason will attend the 2016 Rodeo Queen Quest final next week.

Latest deals and offers

$2m cannabis raid in Gatton

POLICE are calling two intricate cannabis grow houses found in the Gatton suburbs a "commercial cannabis production syndicate.”

Airshow is a soaring success

FLY HIGH: Brent Morton with his nephew Ezzy Castle at the Brisbane Valley Airshow on Saturday, August 27.

Thousands turned out to enjoy the Brisbane Valley Airshow.

Best foot forward when fighting cancer

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Face of Relay Tanya Falagan and LVRC Mayor Tanya Milligan opening our the Relay for Life event.

Relay for Life was back again.

Bianca's quest for rodeo royalty

QUEEN QUEST: Bianca Mason will travel to the Gold Coast for the Rodeo Council of Australia's Rodeo Queen finals next week.

Bianca Mason will attend the 2016 Rodeo Queen Quest final next week.

Withcott is friendliest town in QLD

Withcott Hotel owner Neil Simpson says he is proud Withcott is Queensland's friendliest town.

The small country town wins a big award.

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m