Australia's largest solar power station at the Adelaide Showground has been officially opened.
The 1 MW solar power system was installed over six separate buildings and is expected to provide around 40 per cent of the Showground's power needs. Installation of the solar panels and associated systems was managed by building and engineering company Built Environs in partnership with Solar Shop Australia.
"The Showground solar system is expected to produce around 1,435 MWh of electricity annually which is enough energy to power around 250 households," says Built Environs managing director, Jim Frith. "In addition it will prevent the release of 1,400t of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere annually, which is the equivalent of taking 450 cars off Australian roads."
Tne project introduced a number of construction innovations including a special rack-loading system, with solar panels stacked on pallets, which was lifted onto the roof by crane and then distributed via trolleys on framing rails. A clip-on extrusion framing system minimised the number of holes that needed to be drilled in the roof. To install the panels, drilling rigs were custom-made for each of the major roofs, while cloth and mesh screens prevented drilling waste from entering the stormwater collection system.
The project was completed in three months, two and a half months shorter than original expectations.