162MW Columboola Solar Farm successfully connects to network


The 162MW (AC) Columboola Solar Farm has been successfully connected to the transmission network in the Western Downs of Queensland (QLD), according to Powerlink Queensland. 

The Columboola Solar Farm, which boasts 417,000 PV modules, is situated between Chinchilla and Miles on a 1,009 acre site and is expected to generate approximately 440 GWh of clean energy annually, enough to power the equivalent of 100,000 households. 

Constructed by Sterling & Wilson, QLD government-owned electricity generation company CS Energy has agreed to purchase 100% of the solar farm’s renewable energy generation for the first 10 years of operation.

Powerlink chief executive Paul Simshauser said the grid connection activities, which involved building two kilometres of transmission line and completing works at the existing Columboola Substation, would help the renewable energy generated at the Columboola Solar Farm be delivered to the National Electricity Market (NEM). 

“After many months of dedicated on-ground work, our project team has been able to bring construction activities to a close – safely, on-time and on-budget,” said Simshauser. 

“The project was technically complex and required meticulous planning, with the new stretch of transmission line crossing directly under an existing 275kV line” continued Simshauser. “We will complete final testing and commissioning works in coming months as construction activities at the solar farm progress.”

CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills described the transmission works as a milestone, adding: “The Columboola Solar Farm is the largest renewable energy offtake in CS Energy’s portfolio and we are excited to see the project reach this stage. CS Energy continues to diversify our portfolio with these kinds of offtakes, which enable us to offer renewable energy to our customers and support Queensland’s 50% renewables target by 2030.” 

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