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.

Lockyer Dirt Track Kart Club back on track for new year

CELEBRATIONS: Members of the Lockyer Dirt Track Kart Club at their final meeting of 2016 in December.

The club is gearing up for the first meet of 2017 on February 12.

Lockyer Valley Council searches for signs of unusual crime

STOLEN: A Lockyer Valley Regional Council sign promoting Australia Day was stolen from a billboard along the Warrego Highway at Prenzlau. Pictured is an example of what the 6x3m vinyl sign shows.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council's Australia Day sign was stolen.

New sign in Lowood for natural disasters

Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, with the new LED sign for Lowood.

A new sign in Lowood will help in emergencies.

Local Partners

'What a wonderful 40 years'

AN EMPLOYEE working anywhere for the majority of their life is extraordinary, and Nancy Murray is no exception.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!