Supporting solar in Queensland
The problem of providing energy for future generations is complex and often controversial. Increased solar energy is one solution to this problem.
RPS is currently working on several large scale solar farm projects around Australia and has contributed to the approval of solar farms generating more than 3,500 Megawatts and covering close to 15,000 hectares of land.
A solar project developed for Queensland egg producer Sunny Queen Australia by Solar Choice is set to provide 'eggscellent' outcomes for not only the company but also its colleagues.
In what is one of the first 'long line' solar car parks of its kind in the state, Ipswich City Council approved a development application for a large commercial solar project at Sunny Queen’s Carole Park distribution centre that will double as shade and weather protection for colleagues vehicles.
RPS Planning Principal Simon Pollock, who was in charge of the planning application, said the shade structure to be constructed in the 60-space car park would include 90 metres of solar PV panelling: “This is the first solar project in Queensland where one continuous line of PV panelling will be installed in a colleagues car park. It’s a unique and alternative approach to creating opportunities for solar energy generation. Not only will this benefit colleague by providing protection for their cars from hail storms but it also provides a renewable energy source for the business – and the cost of the shade structure will eventually be paid back through savings in energy costs."
Construction on the project began in January and includes a 100kW solar system that will generate about 450kW hours per day. The solar PV panels are equipped with tempered glass casing to protect the cells underneath and can withstand most weather events including hail storms, according to solar energy broker Solar Choice.
Sunny Queen Australia's Managing Director John O'Hara welcomed this solar initiative:
"Sunny Queen has a proud pedigree of innovation, not only across all of the new products and meal solutions we develop for our customers, but in the systems and processes that enable us to deliver these innovations to the market,” he said “Sustainable energy sources play a critical role in business growth, and this solar project is an important part of that strategy."
Simon encouraged other businesses and local councils to take inspiration from the Sunny Queen Farms project and consider more opportunities for innovative projects of this kind: “Most local councils are very supportive of solar projects but the regulations within existing planning schemes vary dramatically, making it difficult for project proponents to understand how these projects will be assessed. The process can also be very complex for a business wanting to utilise solar power and it can take quite some time to get a development application approved, but the outcomes are worth it. It would be great to see the State or Federal Governments provide further incentives or policy direction in support of renewable energy to encourage the development of solar initiatives.”