Katherine Solar Farm Construction
16 July 2019
Cat® machines begin construction on the NT’s largest renewable energy generator.
In a move that will take the Northern Territory’s electricity grid to 10 per cent renewables by year’s end, CBS Civil Contracting has commenced construction on the largest renewable energy generator in the NT.
The Katherine Solar farm, located 5 kilometers outside of Katherine, will take over 180 acres of privately-owned land with approximately 100,000 ground-mounted solar panels installed on site.
Once completed, the Katherine Solar Farm will be the largest photo-voltaic panel farm in the Northern Territory feeding straight into the grid.
Preparation of the site has been underway with CBS Civil since late May 2019 managing all the civil works on the project.
“We’re building the new entry to the Stuart Highway into the Solar Farm, all the internal roads, trenching, firebreaks and earthworks.” Said Dave Lloyd, Managing Director of CBS Civil Contracting.
Having recently purchased a new 305.5e2 CR Cat excavator to work on the site, Mr. Lloyd says that these machines outperform the previous 305’s and will be essential to meeting the demands of this project.
“On a job this size, we are going to have 6 excavators here just for the trenching. There is about 27km of main trenching to be done, and another 8km of small arterial trenching, that’s a fair bit of trenching to do, so it’s a big job.” Said Mr. Lloyd.
“The 305.5’s are just amazing. They’re noticeably different. From the 305 to the 305.5’s, they don’t look a lot different, but you can actually do a lot more with them, they’re going to get this job done.”
With a fleet of machinery that is 95% Caterpillar, CBS are using Skid Steer Loaders, Excavators, Loaders, Graders and Rollers to complete the project.
“We love our Cat gear, I just love the product for its digging and performance. There is a noticeable difference between Cat and other gear.” Said Mr Lloyd.
Hastings Deering Sales Representative George Brown says that supporting CBS Civil Contracting on this project is not the type of opportunity that presents every day.
“The size and type of solar project is new to the NT, multiply that with the remote location and unique characteristics of the outback, it shows just how important it is to have high quality contractors on your project,” said Mr Brown.
“Dave and his team are committed to their client’s projects in the NT, often working longer hours in testing conditions just to ensure things are done right.”
“In our industry this requires equipment fit for the task; one minute he will be working in a residential area, next he will be on a civil project. With his single unwavering expectation of quality regardless of the job, Dave has, and will continue to, built his reputation on timeliness, quality and mutual respect.” Said Mr Brown.
With the completion of the 25MW Katherine Solar Farm project estimated for November 2019, the NT will be powered by 10% renewable energy with the help of CBS Civil and their Caterpillar machinery.
About the Katherine Solar Farm In what will be a total costed project of around $40 million, the project was purchased by Italian-based ENI with UK company BSR EPC winning the contract to build it.
About CBS Civil Contracting A Darwin based, family-owned company focusing on Civil works in the Northern Territory region. CBS has been in operation for 13 years