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SA Power Outage 2016

5MW Dual Axis-solar Tracking (DAT) Solar Farm

Generates 5MWh/p Energy per hour over 10+ Hour Summers Day.

This Page is currently being Updated, come back soon!

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

Below costs are for a privately funded 5MW Solar Farm, and requires approx. 5 Hectares (12.5 Acres) of land.

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

  1. Supply: 3mt high perimeter Security Fencing, Solar CREE Led Security Lighting (inc. WiFi Video) *$57'000
  2. Supply: 10'000 x 500W, Shingled, Perk, Monocrystalline CCE approved Solar Panels: *$1'990'000
  3. Supply: 667x DAT-15 Dual Axis-solar Tracking Units, *$2'425'000 (BEST Generation)
  4. Supply: 667x DAT-15 Double Flanged Foundation Poles *$207'000 (Cement required)
    • Optional: 667x DAT-15 Spider Ground Screw Foundations *$705'000 (NO Cement, easy to decommission if requuired)
    • Optional: Single Axis Tilted Racking (100 panel modules), inc. *3'920 Ground screws *$750'000 (Good Generation)
    • Optional: Fixed Tilted Solar Racking, inc. 5'500 Ground Screws *$505'000 (Worst Generation)
  5. Supply Plant Equipment: (Hire/Lease/Purchase)
    • Ground Screw Tractors and fittings.
    • Trenching Tractors.
    • 3 ton Spider Crane.
    • 2.5 ton Off-Road Forklift.
    • TOTAL: *$200'000
  6. Supply, Test & Commission of Electrical Equipment:
    • 2x 2'500kVA Inverters & Ballast Modules & Switch Gear equipment.
    • Weatherproof elevated sub-station & field junction boxes.
    • Electrical Cabling;
      • *15klm 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: *$750'000
  7. Shipping Containers & Equipment Freighted to site: *33x40'@$1'300 *$43'000 (depending on location)
  8. Other Equipment Hire, Fuel and Labour Costs:
    • 12 month Project design, environmental study & Council administration costs *$75'000.
    • 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
  9. Project Planning, Submissions, Insurance, Safety Margins & Profit: *$250'000
  10. Fully installed & commissioned project *$6'492'000
  11. Project completion 6~12 month, allowing for delays.

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

NB: High-quality 440W, 1/2cut Solar Panels & the Latest 500W Shingled Solar Panel Technology, require less Panels, less Racking, Trenching, Cabeling as well as less Labour etc.

You could install the cheapest and most inefficient Solar Racking, being Fixed Tilted (FT) Racking, However FT racking is only able to Harvest between 20~25MWh per day peak, this will vary greatly during 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, reduces harvests considerably less energy, meaning there will Only be Peak Energy Generation for approx. 4~5hours per day.

Where 5MW SAT Racking would Harvest *35+MW day, and DAT Racking could Harvest *45+MW day peak, based on DAT modules being mounted some 3mt above ground level, thus further reducing Morning & Evening shadowing from surrounding trees and natural terrain.

In general terms, with all Plant & Equipment on site, a well organised & efficient team of 6~10 workers, should only take 10~14 days per MW to fully install a DAT Solar Farm, Ground Screws Foundations provide a Cement free and quicker Installation!


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 this 5MW Solar Farm Investment Calculator, to see how long it will take to break even on your investment!



Large Solar Farms owners worldwide, should investigate incorporating a 1414° Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS).

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 !


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.


Energy Generation

Solar energy generated can vary greatly depending on the Solar Racking type, you can Calculate the energy harvested 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. Use this 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.

SMA 1500V MVPS 2500kVAA solar farm is divided into areas/sections, so as the power is harvested, it is sent to SMA 1500V MVPS 2500kVA (image right) or similar 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 generation record since 1984, now over 37 years.

Below modelling shows projected Generation of various Racking types.

5MW Solar Farm

5MW Solar Farm

25° Fixed Tilted, North Facing Racking.

*22MW = 3 hours day peak generation.

25° Tilted Single-Axis Tracking, East/West .

*35MW = 6+ hours day peak generation.

5MW Solar Farm  

Dual Axis-solar Tracking Arrays.

*45MW = 10 hours day peak generation.


* Approx. figures, do not allow for bad weather conditions, contracted labour, additional equipment & unforeseen costs characteristic, due to variations in racking, site conditions and possible council or infrastructure changes, may change the figures shown above for this size DAT project.


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