• An artist's impression of the solar research facility at UQ Gatton on completion. Image: Wilson ArchitectsAn artist's impression of the solar research facility at UQ Gatton on completion. Image: Wilson Architects

Work on Australia’s largest Solar Photovoltaic research facility gets underway at University of Queensland

Construction has begun on a solar photovoltaic research facility in Queensland.  The new research facility will be based at the University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus and when finished will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 3.275 megawatt solar photovoltaic facility will cover 10 hectares of land and produce enough electricity to power more than 450 average Australian homes, equivalent to displacing more than 5600 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide or removing 1590 cars from the road. Built in conjunction with First Solar, the UQ facility will be used as a pilot plant for other similar schemes to be built in Australia.  The facility will help researchers to better understand and plan the implementation of large grid-integrated solar power systems.

As well as being used for this research by the Global Change Institute at UQ, the facility will provide up to 30% of the Gatton Campus’ energy requirements. In addition to supplying and installing about 40,000 advanced thin-film photovoltaic panels in ground-mounted arrays, First Solar will also provide engineering, procurement and construction for the pilot plant.

The University of Queensland already boasts a 1.22 megawatt solar array at it’s St Lucia campus, equivalent in size to one and a half football fields, but with the addition of this new research facility, the university is set to become a leading provider of research, training and education in renewable energy globally.

If you would like to find out more about studying or researching at the University of Queensland, you can read their profile here, or contact a Study Options student advisor for more information.

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