Barcaldine Solar Farm

The Barcaldine Solar Farm in Central Queensland will provide a competitively-priced renewable energy alternative on the fringe of the National Energy Market grid, benefitting from up to $20 million in cornerstone debt finance from the CEFC.

Project scope

The large-scale solar farm at historic Barcaldine, more than 1,000 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, is expected to generate enough power to satisfy the needs of around 5,300 homes.

The Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm Pty Ltd, a company owned by Elecnor Australia Pty Ltd, is developing the project. The 20MW AC (25MW DC) solar farm consists of 79,000 solar modules across some 90 hectares. It is next to a transmission substation, enabling easy access to grid connection. It will use single-axis tracking technology to maximise the effectiveness of the photovoltaic panels as they follow the sun. The project has also secured $22.8 million in grant funding from ARENA.

Progress report

The CEFC’s commitment of $20 million in debt finance was announced in December 2015. The project is targeting a 15-month construction program, providing up to 175 jobs at peak construction.

Construction of this solar farm in a fringe-of-grid location will provide useful learnings for other off-grid remote area solar PV projects. The project also demonstrates the potential for solar to increase the reliability and quality of power at fringe-of-grid locations.

The support from the CEFC and ARENA has been essential for getting the project to this stage, to support the future energy supply of the Barcaldine, Blackall and Longreach communities. Elecnor spokesman
Francisco Garcia Valverde