GGC worked closely with the client to identify suitable locations for one of the largest solar farms in the southern hemisphere.

The site is about 850ha in plan area and was identified for potential as a solar farm.

The proposed solar farm would cover approx. 350ha of the site though the location of the solar array had yet to be confirmed.

GGC worked closely with the client to identify suitable locations for the solar array and associated infrastructure; and also, to provide preliminary foundation designs and identify areas of opportunity and refinement.

Achievements

  • Completion of 35 cone penetrometer tests, across the site.
  • Develop a geological model for the site.
  • Provide preliminary design parameters, including indicative pile sizes and lengths.
  • Recommendations for further investigations to confirm design assumptions and optimisation for the solar farm.
  • Assess drivability conditions across the site and at the locations of the solar array.

Challenges and Solutions

GGC provided specialist geotechnical engineering and engineering geology services to the project for the pile design of the solar array and ancillary structures.
We also identified further work to be able to optimise and refine the pile designs to provide a more efficient system and deliver significant cost savings for construction.

A large site with challenging geotechnical conditions:
The site is an extremely large site and a proposed solar array being one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. We were able to map the geological conditions across the site and identify preferred locations for the solar array that had suitable founding conditions.

Identifying construction efficiencies:
For a project of this scale, there are a huge number of piles to be installed.  Therefore, the pile selection and design had to be driven by the construction efficiencies.
We developed a pile design and refinement options that made the piles readily available and quick to install; which would provide significant project benefits during construction.