Ergon Energy’s solar farm in Doomadgee, Queensland has reached an output milestone after 2 years in operation.
The 264 kilowatt solar farm at remote Doomadgee in north west Queensland has generated one gigawatt hours of electricity since it started full production in October 2013.
Project Development Manager, Sophie Allen, said, “We were expecting it to produce 434 megawatts of electricity in its first year, which would be its best result as solar output generally reduces each year by about 0.8 per cent,”
“In its second year we saw an impressive 15 per cent greater output than anticipated, saving 133,000 litres of diesel in the last year.”
Ms Allen said if you consider system losses, they’re talking about an average 5.5 sun hours a day compared to 4.2 sun hours a day in Brisbane or Cairns, which shows how Western Queensland is a great place for generating solar energy.
The solar farm has proven to be successful as the energy it produces is enough to power about 30 homes and accounts for about eight per cent of the town’s total energy needs, helping to reduce the need for costly diesel fuel.
In addition to savings in diesel fuel, the solar farm also assists with reliability of supply during extended wet seasons when the community can be cut off from fuel supplies for up to six months.
With a population of around 1052 people, Doomadgee is one of the larger isolated communities serviced by Ergon Energy.
The farm is located on 7.5 hectare site in Doomadgee’s industrial area and is large enough to accommodate future expansion.
Ergon believes it makes energy sense to develop the use of renewable sources of energy to help lessen our impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our reliance on imported diesel, and harmful pollutants from diesel combustion.
Ergon manages power supply for 39 remote and isolated communities in regional Queensland, including Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands.