The $200 million Wemen Solar Farm generates 109MW from two large photovoltaic arrays on over 300 hectares of land located south of the Murray River near Robinvale in Victoria. The solar arrays employ single axis tracking system. RBG was engaged by RCR to undertake the detailed design for the entry road, over 10km internal roads, hardstands, foundations for portable building, substation and containerised inverters.

RBG undertook the optimisation of the array layout through three-dimensional modelling of the earthworks, array pile height and torque tube gradients.

Project Value:
$110 million
Metrics:
19MWdc photovoltaic solar farm
Sectors:
Renewable Energy
Client:
Wirsol

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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