Environmental Strategies Officer at Lismore City Council, Sharyn Hunnisett is excited to get Australia's first floating solar panels installed at the sewage ponds on Wyrallah Road.
Environmental Strategies Officer at Lismore City Council, Sharyn Hunnisett is excited to get Australia's first floating solar panels installed at the sewage ponds on Wyrallah Road. Samantha Poate

Work starts on solar farm at Lismore sewage ponds

CONSTRUCTION of Australia's biggest floating solar farm will begin as early as tomorrow at the Lismore Sewage Ponds.

Lismore City Council's Environmental Strategies Officer Sharyn Hunnisett said it was one of council's key projects for the Renewable Energy Master Plan.

"What is exciting about this particular solar farm is that it's a floating solar farm which will be the biggest floating solar farm in Australia," Ms Hunnisett said.

 

Sewage pond at Wyrallah Road will soon have floating solar panels installed.
Sewage pond at Wyrallah Road will soon have floating solar panels installed. Samantha Poate

This is one of two projects to be completed under the scheme costing $360,000.

"We have two projects, one at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre where we installed 100kw solar farm, which was installed May this year," Ms Hunnisett said.

"Our second solar farm is this exciting floating solar farm, which is taking a little bit longer to get to because it is so innovative, there has been some things we needed to work out along the way."

"What is really significant is that it is funded by our community, through our project called Lismore Community Solar."

Weather dependent, the assembly of the solar equipment could start tomorrow and be completed by December this year.

"The equipment is on site and weather dependent it will be a matter of days and the construction finalisation we are hoping to be before Christmas."

Ms Hunnisett said the power will go directly to the council's sewage treatment plant site.

"It is a really big priority to get renewable energy generations here," she said.

"We really had to think outside the square, how could we generate renewable energy on site and we saw the big pond out the back and went maybe we could use that."

"The power from this solar farm will be around 13% of the sites use, so it's only a small portion."

"The idea is the pond is huge so if this works well which we expect it will, we can easily just keep adding to this system to make it big enough so it could run all of the day time needs of this site."

She said within the next 12 months council may look into stage 2.



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