University of Queensland And NSW To Partner On Solar Farm Research


The University of Queensland the University of New South Wales will conduct research relating to two large solar farms projects to be constructed over the next three years in western New South Wales.
The $40.7 million Education Investment Fund (EIF) Research Infrastructure Program will support the two solar panel based projects – 106MW at Nyngan and 53MW at Broken Hill. Both facilities are being constructed under the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships program.
University of Queensland’s Professor Paul Meredith said the research program involved building a large PV pilot facility with components focused on energy storage, plant optimisation and the impact of renewable energy on the national electricity market.
“The research will build national capacity for solar power research at the utility scale, and provide invaluable infrastructure for the broader Australian research community,” Professor Meredith said.
University of Queensland has been appointed Lead Research Organisation for the project.
The EIF funding will also be used to build a Power Systems Interface Research Facility to delve into significant areas related to the successful integration of solar panel based electricity generation facilities into Australia’s power grid.
“This grant is the most significant and historically largest single investment to build a piece of power system interface research infrastructure in Australia,” said Professor Vassilios Agelidis, Director of the Australian Energy Research Institute at UNSW.
The new research facility will be housed in the recently completed Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB), a 6-Star energy-efficient structure. The TETB consists of five floor levels totalling approximately 15,000 square metres including a lower ground and ground floors.
The TETB is another project constructed under the Education Investment Fund and has received Government support of $75 million. Further funding of $11 million has been contributed by Sir William Tyree, a UNSW alumnus.
“The building, and the new power systems facility, position UNSW as a national energy research hub capable of delivering much-needed energy technologies and solutions,” said Professor Les Field, UNSW’s Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)