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SA Power Outage 2016
 

How much does a 1MW Dual Axis-solar Tracking (DAT) Solar Farm Cost ?

It can Generates from 10MWh/p Energy per Day installed at latitude 32°.

Note: *Figures shown below are approx. wholesale costs, and estimated labour costs. 

Below costs are for a privately funded 1MW Solar Farm, and may require a footprint of 2.5 Hectares (5 Acres) of land.

Our Plant & Equipment supply costs below are calculated @$0.75 exchange Rate (Sep 2021);

 

  1. Supply: Perimeter Security Fencing, Solar CREE Led Security Lighting (inc. WiFi Video) *$37'000
    Installed on Ground Screw Foundations (No cement - No Footprint if/when removed)
  2. Supply: 1'818 x 550W, Shingled, Perk, Monocrystalline CCE approved Solar Panels: *$366'000
  3. Supply: 121 x DAT-15 Dual Axis-solar Tracking Units, *$457'000 (BEST Energy Generation)
  4. Supply: 121 x DAT-15 Double Flanged Foundation Poles *$34'000 (Cement required)
    • Optional: 121x Spider Ground Screw Foundations *$133'000 (NO Cement, same day install, easy removal if required)
    • Optional: Single Axis Tilted Racking (95x 192 panel modules, 56 Ground Screws each) *$100'000 (Good Energy Generation)
    • Optional: Fixed Tilted Solar Racking, (42x 44 panel modules, 18 Ground Screws each) *$55'000 (Worst Energy Generated)
  5. Supply Plant Equipment: (Hire/Lease)
    • Ground Screw Tractor/Excavator and fittings.
    • Trenching Tractors.
    • 3 ton Spider Crane.
    • 2.5 ton Off-Road Forklift.
    • TOTAL: *$150'000
  6. Supply, Test & Commission of Electrical Equipment:
    • 1x 1'000kVA Inverters & Ballast Modules & Switch Gear equipment.
    • Weatherproof Containerised sub-station & field junction boxes.
    • Electrical Cabling;
      • *3klm Orange Electrical Ground Conduit, Safety Tape, and Chemical Sealer.
      • Pressure Test under-ground Conduit.
      • Solar Wiring from Solar Racking to End-of-String Switch Gear node, to main Sub-station inverter.
      • *4mm2/6mm2/10mm2 DC Tinned Copper Solar cable as required, from DATs to inverter Junctions.
      • *90mm HV Cable, 11kVa 100% Copper Wiring feed from Sub-station to State Grid Distribution infrastructure.
      • Test & Commission Energy Infrastructure costs.
    • TOTAL: *$200'000
  7. Shipping Containers & Equipment Freighted to site: *10x 40'@$1'300 *$13'000 (depending on location)
  8. Outright Purchase of Shipping Container: *1x20'@$2'500 etc. *$3'000 (optional for Cleaning & Mowing equipment)
  9. Other Equipment Hire, Fuel and Labour Costs:
    • 12 month Project design, environmental study & Council administration costs.
    • Temporary Site Sheds: Site Office (Motorhome) Lunch room & Toilets facilities.
    • Land preparation, Clear, Rake & Level ground of Rocks & Debris.
    • Set-out & Drive-in approx. 3'920 Racking Ground Screws.
    • Install DAT Masts & Assemble Racking & Modules.
    • Install SMA inverters Room in elevated Flood proof sub-station.
    • Install Perimeter Security Fencing & Solar WiFi Lighting & Cameras.
    • Dig Trenches from Solar Racking to Sub-station, Lay, Seal & Pressure Tested Electrical Conduit.
    • Trench from Sub-station to State Grid infrastructure, Lay & Seal 11 kVA Electrical Conduit .
    • Estimated Installation Costs: +safety margin: *$570'000
  10. Project Planning, Submissions, Insurance, Safety Margins & Profit: *$80'000
  11. Fully installed & commissioned project *$1'920'000
  12. Project completion from Installation start day, 4~8 month, allowing for delays.

We tabled the above costs based on the supply & installation of the most efficient Solar Racking, being Dual Axis-solar Tracking" (DAT) Racking.

You could install the cheapest and most inefficient Solar Racking, being Fixed Tilted Racking, in general terms will only be able to Harvest Peak energy for no more than 4 ~4.5 hours per day, this will vary greatly between Summer & Winter, due to the sun's arch through the sky, where the acute angle of the sun striking the Panels from before 10:30PM and after 2:30PM, generates substantially less energy, meaning there will Only be Peak Energy Generation for approx. 4 hours per day.

Where 1MW FT Racking would Harvest *5MW/p day, a DAT Racking will Harvest *11MW/p day peak, based on DAT modules being mounted some 3mt above ground level, thus further reducing Morning & Evening shading from surrounding trees and natural terrain.

In general terms, with all Plant & Equipment on site, a well organised & efficient team of 4~6 workers, should only take 90~120 days per MW to install the basics being Foundations, Trenching & Cabling, and DAT assembly & Solar Panel Fitting. Ground Screws Foundations simply provides a Quicker Cement free & Greener Installation!

However, we feel the Substation & Energy Storage location (if any) should be Started First, as to allow preliminary system to be Tested prior to going live.

Energy Storage can provide Total energy independence with the correct kWh of Stored energy, ideally matched to consumption.

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Renewable Energy Credits:

System owners claim the Large scale REC to reduce there investment break-even time, and reduce there environmental carbon footprint, for there business.

User another Solar Farm Investment Calculators, to see how long it will take to break-even on your investment!

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VISION

Large Solar Farms owners worldwide, should investigate incorporating a 1414° Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS), or the equivalent in Super Capacitor Energy Storage.

The TESS Technology comes from an Australian company that we anticipate anyone with a Large source of what would normally be Wasted Energy &/or Fuel, should have the Vision to Invest/Partner with this great Australian technology.     The company has stated the technology will provide energy storage at 1/10 the cost of the commercial TESLA battery installation, and other Battery type Energy Storage systems.

In 2020, the smallest TESS available was 10MW module & they are now developing Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), all for Commercial applications, allowing the Generator the option to first self consume and sell any excess stored energy on National Electricity Market (NEM) during Peak demand (Peak Power), providing a better financial return, via !

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Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading (P2P) is the latest exciting development in Australia Energy Market in the last 100 years!

P2P energy trading is being led by Power Ledger, an Australian company, P2P Energy Trading is set to become a Big Disruptive force, that bye-passes the need of the deceptively named "Energy Retailers" that don't actually pay for the energy customers consumers.

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Energy Generation

Solar energy generated can vary greatly depending on the Solar Racking type, you can Calculate the energy generated of different Racking methods here.

NB: 440W, 144 cell, half-cut solar module/panel technology, improves energy generation from very early & Late in the evening, half-cut panels are also designed to improve energy generation where there is Shading!

So, in short, it is better to use higher Wattage panels, to reduce Pay-back period.  This is the same for residential or commercial, no matter what method of installation is used, be it Fixed Flat, Fixed Tilted, Single or Dual-axis Tracking Arrays !

The final cost of a fully commissioned Solar Farm can vary considerably, as location & labour plays a large part based on whether the site installs Fixed Tilted Racking, being the cheapest short term, with Single-Axis or Dual-Axis Tracking being the more expensive in the short term, or a combination of both can be used as shown in the modelling below.

Remember quality solar panels will Generate energy for 20~35+ years !

As an example 

  1. See other Solar Farm energy calculator to see the different Generation between the different Racking types, where Dual Axis-solar Tracking Racking generates peak energy up to and over *10 hours per day.

The main consideration between Fixed Tilted, Single & Dual Axis-solar Racking is the final Material, Installation & operational cost, installation cost is usually calculated in MW per man hours.  No matter what system is used, the racking fittings & fixtures including motors & software play a significant part of the initial supply cost.  The DC~AC conversion stations, Cabling and Installation cost, inc. Sub-Station cost, are as equally expensive, and need to be planed well in advance, as speed of installation is critical to enabling a quick return on investment.

A solar farm is divided into areas/sections, so as the power is generated, it is sent to power conversion station(s), strategically located around the solar farm that best suits the site.  Stations incorporate the central PV inverter(s), transformer and associated switchgear and monitoring systems.

These stations convert DC solar array power to AC power, then the AC power is fed either into on-site energy storage for later dispatch as peak power, or directly into the state grid distribution via high voltage 11kVA transition lines, where power is then distributed to the local community.

NEWS: The 1414° Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS), is a new Australian commercial energy storage technology, 10MW is the smallest unit, reported to be a game changer to buck the trend in energy stored, click the link above to read more.

There is also another new and very interesting commercial technology Gallium Arsenide solar array, these solar Panels were designed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and has held the worlds best harvesting record since 1984, now over 37 years.

* Approx. figures do not allow for bad weather conditions, contracted labour, additional equipment & unforeseen costs characteristic, due to variations in racking, site conditions and council changes to project conditions.

 

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