Edify Energy proposes 200MW solar-plus-storage project in Central Queensland, Australia

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The project will incorporate agriPV once construction of the solar project is complete. Image: Genex Power.

Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy has proposed constructing and operating a 200MW solar PV farm near the Callide coal-fired power station in Central Queensland, Australia.

The Callide Solar Power Station Project will also incorporate a 4-hour duration 200MW/800MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at a site located seven kilometres northeast of Biloela.

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Edify has already completed the planning and some of the environmental assessments for the project. As covered on PV Tech, Banana Shire Council granted development approval in early October 2023.

Once the solar facility has been completed, Edify intends to initially house up to 49 sheep to test the co-location of grazing with the solar facility.

Should this be successful, the number of sheep co-located will gradually increase to 1,000, ensuring the ongoing agricultural use of the land via agrivoltaics (agriPV). PV Tech’s 2023 review revealed an increasing number of projects worldwide incorporating agriPV as well as greater interest from developers. For instance, the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published findings in October 2023 stating that the union could deploy 944GW of agrivoltaics on just 1% of its utilised farmland.

The solar panels will be mounted on single-axis trackers to follow the sun to maximise energy generation, with a maximum heigh of 4.2m. Edify stated that these tracker systems are suitable for the grazing proposed and will provide opportunities to shade livestock in the hotter parts of the day.

Current plans indicate that the project will have a lifespan of approximately 50 years and will be facilitated through a lease arrangement with the landowner, with the possibility of extension. At the conclusion of the lease, the solar and energy storage facility will be decommissioned, and the land returned to its original state.

The project will provide power to the Banana Shire and Central Queensland via an interconnection to the National Electricity Market’s transmission network.

4-hour duration BESS to be incorporated into the project

The proposed 200MW/800MWh BESS component will store excess energy generated by the solar farm and support the grid by providing power during peak demand or when energy generation is low. The final form and design of the BESS will be determined during the procurement phase of the project.

The project plan indicates that the BESS will consist of sealed lithium-ion batteries and be contained in cabinets up to 3m high.

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