Outback town running on sun

Ergon Energy acting general manager of operations, Central region, Stephen Simpson, addresses guests at the openinig of the new Windorah Solar Farm.
Ergon Energy acting general manager of operations, Central region, Stephen Simpson, addresses guests at the openinig of the new Windorah Solar Farm. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

AUSTRALIA'S newest solar farm is making the outback town of Windorah one of the state's cleanest and greenest.

Since it first turned its innovative mirrored dishes to the sun earlier this year, Ergon Energy's $4.5 million solar farm has saved more than 100 tonnes of carbon being pumped into the atmosphere,” Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said yesterday.

“The Windorah Solar Farm is generating power that would otherwise have come from a diesel-powered generator,” he said.

Mr Robertson was officially opening the Windorah Solar Farm, the first of its kind in Queensland.

“The solar farm uses five 14-metre diameter mirrored dishes to capture sunlight,” Mr Robertson said.

“It has generated more than 100,000 kilowatt hours of clean emissions-free energy to date to help power local homes and businesses. The giant dishes follow the sun as it tracks across the sky from sunrise to sunset.”

While the solar farm is producing power, the town's diesel generators operate at reduced output.

At night, or when there is too much cloud for the dishes to generate power, the generators will seamlessly be brought back up to sufficient capacity to supply the town's needs.

“The Queensland Government, through Ergon Energy, has invested more than $3.5million to build the solar farm at Windorah,” he said.

The Federal Government had contributed $1 million.

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