Technology

The Byford Solar Farm is located in the suburb of Oakford, approximately 30 km south of Perth, Western Australia within the Shire of Serpentine – Jarrahdale. The solar farm will be constructed between Thomas Road and Abernethy Road in Oakford. These two roads form the northern and southern boundaries of the site.

The Byford Solar Farm is made up over 110,000 pieces of monocrystalline solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that are installed on a large number of single axis trackers. These single axis trackers orient the panels from east to west every day to follow the sun-path in order for the PV panels to maximise its energy output. For this project, the single axis tracking system produces approximately 25% more electricity when compared to a fixed tilt system.

The solar PV panels produce direct current (DC) electricity at a maximum DC voltage of 1.5 kV which is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity by inverters (power conversion units) and stepped up to 22 kV through step-up transformers. The high voltage level was selected as 22 kV to match the Western Power high voltage level in the area.

The Byford solar PV farm is separated into three separate 22 kV electrical systems. Each electrical system has 12.5 MVA of installed inverter capacity and will be injecting up to 9.99 MW of electricity into the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) through dedicated 22 kV switchrooms and connection points. Each system is also ready for future large-scale battery integration through dedicated 22 kV bays allocated for batteries within each switchroom. The 22 kV electrical system in each solar farm is configured in a “ring” topology instead of a “radial” topology in order to increase plant availability.

Once constructed, the Byford solar farm is expected to generator approximately 80,000 MWh of electricity per annum which offsets approximately 62,400 tonnes of CO2 per annum (based on an average SWIS carbon intensity of 0.78 tonnesCO2/MWh).