The Yarranlea solar farm is a 100MW project in Queensland, Australia. Credit: Yarranlea Solar.
The Yarranlea solar farm features more than 360,000 solar panels. Credit: Yarranlea Solar.
Risen Energy is the Yarranlea solar farm project developer. Credit: Yarranlea Solar.

Yarranlea solar farm is a 100MW photovoltaic (PV) solar farm in Queensland, Australia. Risen Energy acquired the solar farm from the previous developer Yarranlea Solar in February 2018.

The solar farm can generate 264GWh of electricity a year, which is sufficient to power 32,000 households while offsetting 124,000t of carbon emissions a year. It generated approximately 200 jobs during the construction phase and employs up to five people in the operational phase.

The construction of the solar farm began in May 2018 and was completed in August 2019. Grid connection was established in January 2020. The project is expected to have a lifecycle of 30 years.

Yarranlea solar project development details

The Yarranlea solar farm was developed in four phases, with the first phase involving the installation of solar PV panels to generate approximately 40MW. The substation and the 110kV connection components were installed within the first stage of the development.

The second phase witnessed the installation of 20MW of capacity in a land parcel of 50ha.

The third and fourth phases involved the installation of an additional 20MW each. Three existing farm buildings were cleared and replaced with farm storage shed as part of the fourth phase.

The solar farm implemented staged commissioning procedures to ensure network stability.

Yarranlea solar project location and details

Yarranlea solar farm is located on a 250ha farmland near Pittsworth, towards the west of Toowoomba. It is situated 170km west of Brisbane on the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia.

“The solar farm can generate 264GWh of electricity a year, which is sufficient to power 32,000 households while offsetting 124,000t of carbon emissions a year.”

The project contains more than 360,000 solar panels mounted on a single-axis tracking system. Panels were fixed on monopole structures arranged in solar arrays and positioned 1.2m above ground level.

The structures are supported by steel screw piles, steel driven piles or FRP composite drive piles. The panels are supported on steel frames and track the movement of the sun.

Permanent motion-sensitive and directional security lights were installed at the facility as part of the security measures. The solar farm is operated from a control building, located near the substation.

Yarranlea solar project construction

Initial works at the Yarranlea solar project included the earthworks for preparing the installation of solar panels and substation equipment. It was followed by the installation of a photovoltaic panel system and inverters, transformers and electrical collector system.

Power transmission from Yarranlea solar farm

The power generated by the solar panels is supplied to a 33kV / 110kV substation, using an underground reticulation system.

The voltage is stepped-up to 110kV before transferring the electricity to the existing Ergon Energy 110kV network and further to the Middle Ridge Bulk supply substation for supplying to the consumers in Toowoomba and Darling Downs.

The direct current (DC) produced is converted to grid-compatible alternating current (AC) by a central skid-mounted inverter / transformer station installed within the power block.

Contractors involved

Monford Group was awarded a $50m contract for the construction of the Yarranlea solar farm, while Byrne Surveyors conducted the survey works for construction monitoring.

Sedl Civil Contractors were responsible for the bulk earthworks for the solar farm substation, while Yurika was engaged for the installation works.

I3 Consulting performed the engineering consulting works, while Ecology and Heritage Partners drafted the ecological assessment report.

Wilson Transformer Company supplied a transformer for the solar project.