The $32 million Swan Hill Solar Farm comprises more than 50,000 solar panels operating on a single axis tracking system, and produce 37,700MWh in its first year of operation, enough to power the equivalent of around 6,300 homes.

RBG was engaged by RCR to undertake the detailed design for the entry road, internal roads, hardstands and the foundations for portable buildings, substation and containerised inverters.

Project Value:
$36 million
Metrics:
19MWdc photovoltaic solar farm
Sectors:
Renewable Energy
Client:
Impact Investment

Primary Contractor:
RCR Infrastructure
Robert Bird Group
Services:
Civil Engineering Detailed Design
Structural Engineering Detailed Design

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

RBG redesigned the steel plunge columns enabling complex bracing arrangements and programme hold-points to be removed, hence simplifying excavation and improving health and safety. The ground floor slab was redesigned for significant construction loads and to prop the basement wall whilst maintaining a large void to allow the core to rise.

RBG also checked all permanent works elements for the temporary loads induced by the innovative construction sequence. The construction method further reduced the ground movements, thereby minimising the risk to sensitive network rail facilities adjacent to the site.

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