The Childers Solar Farm is a utility scale renewable energy project with an output measuring up to 120 megawatt (MW) that will generate clean and renewable electricity from the power of the sun.
The $210-million-dollar project is located approximately 60km south of the Bundaberg Central Business District and 15km south-east from the township of Childers. The site is currently used for agricultural purposes, mainly grazing activities. The project site was chosen as it has proximity to the Ergon Energy network, access from the Bruce Highway, relatively flat land and lack of surrounding sensitive community receptors.
The solar farm will cover an area of approximately 180 hectares (445 acres) and comprise approximately 400,000 solar photovoltaic modules, known more commonly as ‘PV Modules’ or ‘solar panels’. The solar panels are identical in type but larger in size to those used in residential solar installations located on homes throughout Australia.
The solar panels will be installed on ground-mounted frames that will slowly track the daily horizontal movement of the sun. The solar panels will generate direct current (‘DC’) electricity that will be inverted to alternating current (‘AC’) via containerized power conversion units. The power conversion units located within the site will feed AC electricity into an onsite power reticulation system before the power is centrally collected and dispatched to the local electricity distribution network via the Ergon Energy transmission network.
ESCO Pacific received Development Approval from Bundaberg Regional Council in December 2016. Work to secure a grid connection with Ergon Energy is currently underway. The project will take approximately 12 months to build and subject to approvals it is expected that work will commence in the first quarter of 2018.