Solar farm provides local jobs
MORE than 180 jobs were provided for local tradespeople during the construction of the Adani Renewables Rugby Run solar farm.
The farm has now reached mechanical completion but G&S Engineering managing director Mick Crowe still has about 80 local employees carrying out the electrical connection work at the Moranbah site.
Mr Crowe was pleased to be able to provide jobs to local workers after the Mackay company was awarded the six month contract eight weeks ago.
"Adani has a regional procurement strategy and G&S has a very strong electrical arm which helped us stand out," Mr Crowe said.
"We didn't have a previous solar project on our resume so we are happy to have this introduction to the renewable sector which is going to help this region well into the future.
"The industry has been quiet in the region for a while now and these type of investments by companies generate local jobs and sustainable power.
"I can't think of any downside to the project."
Established in 1995, G&S Engineering has a long history in the mining industry. Mr Crowe said coal mines were just as vital to the region as solar farms.
"I think solar has a big role to play in the future, but so does coal, wind and all forms of energy generation," Mr Crowe said.
"Hopefully, what we are doing here is bringing a sensible blend to make electricity more affordable to everyone in Queensland."
G&S Engineering electricians will spend the next six months connecting each electrical cable by hand on all of the 247,000 solar panels. More than 1.3 million galvanised zip ties will be used in the stringing the cables. Once the wiring is complete, the energy will connect to the main power grid.
Mr Crowe said although the work was repetitive, the six-month contract provided job security for employees.
"You don't often get projects that last for more than a few weeks, so jobs like this are fundamental to drawing people back to the region," he said.
"This additional level of economic activity in the region will keep us sustainable."
Rugby Run solar farm project at a glance
- Currently a 65 megawatt farm, with the capacity to expand to 170 megawatts
- Located near the town of Moranbah
- Commissioning of the farm will begin in December 2018
- The farm will generate 185,000 megawatt hours of power each year from stage one, which is enough to power approximately 23,000 homes
- The farm has over 275,000 solar panels installed
- Each panels take approximately 15 second to install
- During installation, a team of 12 people set up an average of 2500 panels a day
- The panels rotate to track the sun and maximise efficiency
- The solar panels are programmed to rest at an angle that withstands inclement wind and weather conditions
- Approximately 1.3 million galvanised zip ties will be used to string electrical cables
- At peak construction, the farm employed 175 people
- 18 kilometres of fence has been installed
- 7.2 kilometres of road were built to access the site
- 6500 holes pre-drilled