Giant solar farm development planned for Darling Downs

PLANS for a solar farm covering several properties have been submitted to Toowoomba Regional Council.

Yarranlea Solar wants to build the farm on Yarranlea Rd at Yarranlea, 10km east of Pittsworth.

The development will be constructed on rural land, which is known for intensive cropping on the fertile plans of the Condamine River.

Yarranlea wants to build a utility scale photovoltaic facility, defined as one which generates solar power and feeds it into the grid, supplying a utility with energy.

Developers think it will generate up to 100 megawatts of energy and have an operational life of 30 years.

It will have a connection to the Queensland electricity market through an Ergon substation and will have on-site battery storage.

The facility will eventually cover up to 250 hectares of land and will be developed over four stages.

The site of the proposed development.

The first stage will include the installation of solar panels to generate about 40MW over 100 hectares.

Battery storage, operations and maintenance buildings will be constructed to support the operation.

Connection to the Ergon substation will be completed during stage one through a 1.5km power line.

The second stage will see the facility generate another 20MW and will cover 50 hectares.

The third and fourth stages will each generate about the same amount of electricity and cover the same area as the second stage.

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The facility will include several components including solar modules, steel mounts, electrical transformers and inverters, electrical wiring, telecommunication equipment and electrical control enclosures.

Developers say the panels to be used are similar to those used for domestic power generation and will be supported by steel frames.

The frames may have the ability to track the sun to increase the amount of power generated.

Solar panels on the roof of Changi Airport Budget Terminal, Singapore.

The current plans include permanent motion sensitive directional security lights.

Lighting will be directed downwards to minimise the potential for glare into nearby properties.

Ecology and Heritage Partners undertook an ecological assessment of the site and identified four wetlands of international importance, five threatened ecological communities, 24 threatened, 12 migratory and 15 marine species.

Yarranlea Solar was contacted for comment but did not return The Chronicle's calls.