Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker at the Adani Renewables Australia's Rugby Run solar farm.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker at the Adani Renewables Australia's Rugby Run solar farm. Emma Murray

Switch flicked on multi-million dollar solar farm

MORE than 247,000 solar panels have been switched on in a major milestone moment for one of Australia's biggest solar farms.

The Adani Renewables Rugby Run solar farm near Moranbah will supply renewable power to thousands of regional Queensland homes and businesses.

At full operation, the farm will deliver 65MW of electricity each year, enough energy to power about 23,000 homes.

 

Electrician Martin Fisher wires up solar array panels at Adani Renewables Australia's Rugby Run solar farm.
Electrician Martin Fisher wires up solar array panels at Adani Renewables Australia's Rugby Run solar farm. Emma Murray

Adani Renewables Australia business manager Derek Chapman said Rugby Run was the company's flagship project in Australia.

"The construction of the farm enabled us to employ more than 175 people during peak construction periods," Mr Chapman said.

"There are several construction stages within the solar farm delivery process that use skills which are transferrable from other industries, like the mining sector.

"For this reason we were able to use local Queensland contractors from Clermont, Chinchilla, Bowen and Townsville, ensuring the benefits of this investment are focused in regional Queensland."

>>Contentious solar laws challenged in court

The Rugby Run solar farm has been built for Queensland's conditions. The panels are programmed to rotate to track the sun most efficiently and also to move to the most effective angles to withstand inclement wind and weather.

"We are able to leverage Adani's expertise as India's leading generator of solar power when delivering our renewables projects in Australia," Mr Chapman said.

Adani Renewables CEO Dr Jennifer Purdie said the solar farm was about creating an "all important energy mix".

"This solar farm is about bringing another core part of Adani's business structure to Australia," Dr Purdie said.

The land at Rugby Run was originally purchased for a railway line; however, as that became infeasible, the energy giant used the land as a solar farm, which is in a block shape rather than a line, making it less suitable for grazing.

 

Adani Renewables Australia Rugby Run solar farm.
Adani Renewables Australia Rugby Run solar farm. Emma Murray

Adani has already sold 80 per cent of the energy generated at the Rugby Run solar farm to Alinta Energy, an Australia electricity company new to Queensland's energy market.

The remaining 20 per cent will be sold on the electricity spot market.

Fast facts:

1.3 million galvanised zip ties were used in the stringing of electrical cables.

More than 247,000 solar panels installed.

175 jobs at peak construction.

18km of fence line installed.

7.2km of road built to access site.

6500 holes pre-drilled.

The solar 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.

65MW solar farm.