More than 12,500 solar panels have been installed as the $42.5 million Lakeland Solar and Storage project heads for its April completion date.
Project owner Conergy said there were more than 60 workers on site forming three crews to complete the project, located off the Mulligan Highway at Lakeland in far north Queensland by April this year.
It said 75 per cent of the workers were Lakeland and Cooktown locals using local accommodation and community facilities.
More than 80 per cent of the structural piles have been driven into the ground and 53 per cent of the mounting frames have been fixed on top of them. Inverters are being installed this week.
The project consists of a 13MWp/10.8MWac solar power PV ground-mounted array featuring 41,440 solar panels, with a 1.4MW/5.3MWh Conergy ‘CHESS’ storage solution that combined will create a consistent power supply, even during times of cloud cover.
It is the Southern Hemisphere’s first integrated solar, storage and fringe-of-grid project of this size and scale, and will demonstrate grid-to-islanding functionality.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $17.4 million in funding support.
Conergy managing director David McCallum said having the support from ARENA, local council and government had been critical it getting the landmark project into the construction phase.
“Now that we are nearing completion of the project, we are keen to demonstrate the facility’s seamless solar power generation and storage capabilities,” he said.
Mr McCallum was joined on a site visit last week by Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and ARENA general manager for projects Kirsty Gowan as well as Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott and Deputy mayor Alan Wilson.