Jun 11, 2020

Mini solar farms power up Cairns wastewater treatment

Mini solar farms power up Cairns wastewater treatment Cairns Mayor Bob Manning (front) with (from left) Oceanic Solar project manager Marley Brown, G-Solar and Electrical director Grant Newman, and Council’s energy management and sustainability advisor Daniel Stronggrove at the Marlin Coast Wastewater Treatment Plant mini solar farm.

Construction is underway on four mini solar farms, and additional roof-mounted solar panels, at five of the Cairns Region’s wastewater treatment plants.

Solgen Energy Group was awarded the $3 million contract to build the mini solar farms.

Chief commercial officer David Naismith said Solgen was working with local businesses to construct the mini solar farms.

They will generate an estimated 2.92 gigawatt hours of energy each year, which will provide 25 per cent of the total energy requirements of the wastewater treatment plants and feed some power back into the grid.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the development would make a significant contribution to Council’s emissions reduction.

“The solar farms will reduce council’s overall emissions by an additional 7 per cent, and increase our solar capacity to 2784 kilowatts,” Cr Manning said.

“This is a significant project, especially when you consider that once complete there will be a total of 4200 panels installed across five sites; the average house has 20-30 panels on its roof.”

Installation is close to completion at the Marlin Coast plant, where 756 ground-mounted panels have been installed.

Work has started on one of larger solar farms, the Northern WWTP in Aeroglen, where 1484 panels will be installed.

The remaining works at the Southern WWTP (1,484 ground mounted panels), Edmonton WWTP (combination of 392 ground and roof panels) and Gordonvale WWTP (84 roof panels), are expected to be completed in July.