The Glenrowan West Solar Farm is located between Benalla and Wangaratta, 11km southwest of the town of Glenrowan, Victoria in South Eastern Australia. This expansive project will cover more than 706 acres and comprise more than 373,000 solar panels.
Once completed, the farm will have the capacity to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 41,000 local homes and prevent 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions. During the peak construction phase, the project will create more than 350 jobs.
Civil engineering firm Brefni was chosen as a key contractor to complete groundworks preparing for the solar farm installation.
Following months of considerable rainfall, the main challenge Brefni faced was overly wet soil. With such soft ground, machinery and trucks couldn’t access the roads to start the project. This meant a considerable loss of time and outlay, with machinery sitting idle on site unable to be used because of the soil conditions.
The contractor needed a creative solution to get the project back on track quickly.
GEOmasta Consultant Braden Light suggested that the team make use of the temporary access tracks on site and build roads directly on top of the soil, rather than removing layers of soil and using traditional compaction techniques to establish a firm base.
Using this solution, the Brefni team could save time and ensure machinery and equipment could safely travel to key areas on site.
Roads were constructed using a combination of geofabric, grid and rock. This saved considerable time and money as geosynthetic materials were laid directly onto the soil without significant soil removal that would typically be seen in a standard installation.
The project is now progressing smoothly and is set to be completed in March 2021.
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