Development Approval Process
Photon Energy Australia Pty Ltd is proposing to build and commission a 230 MWp solar power plant in Suntop, as a part of NSW’s drive towards using more local renewable sources and towards a more sustainable future.
Photon Energy is currently developing several other large-scale solar PV projects in NSW.
In order to be as close as possible to residents and keep them informed we have set up this community engagement page to interact with residents, hear their questions and potential concerns and inform them about all possible aspects of the project and solar energy in general.
|Project name:||Suntop2 Solar Farm|
|Construction date:||Expected Q4/2021|
If you cannot find the question you would like to ask us, feel free to contact us.
How long will the construction take? Will it be noisy and dusty?
No, the installation of solar power plants is a fairly quick process, with little digging and noisy work involved.
There is much less “messy” construction work involved than in, for example, constructing a building. For the solar power plant, we will need to dig cable channels and secure the mounting system into the ground. Once this is completed, a lot of the work is simply laying panels onto the mounting systems and connecting them.
The installation should take approx. 12–14 months. Planned construction start is in the fourth quarter of 2021.
An example of a “typical” solar PV panel is below.
Will the solar energy produced be fed directly into our houses?
No. The solar power plant will feed all the energy produced into the electricity grid operated by Transgrid.
Does the production of solar energy produce fumes or create noise?
No. The beauty about solar energy is, that there is no sound or fumes produced. In fact, the only product of the solar power plant is renewable solar energy.
Can glare from solar panels be annoying to residents or dangerous to drivers?
No. Solar panels are designed to absorb radiation, not reflect it: constructed of dark-colored materials and covered with anti-reflective coatings, today’s typical solar panels reflect as little as 2 percent of incoming sunlight.
Around the world, solar power plants are even located next to airports (such as the 22.2 MWp power plant Photon Energy built in 2010 in the Czech Republic), where glare would be of paramount concern, and evidence thus far suggests that glare has not been a problem for airport personnel.
Are solar panels manufactured with toxic metals that could contaminate installation sites and pollute landfills if discarded?
No. Most panels are constructed of glass (silicon), with common metals such as aluminum and copper wiring, and don’t tend to contain heavy metals or other potentially toxic substances. The one exception is thinfilm solar products, which may contain heavy metals. However, the Carrick project will not use thin film panels. Because few solar panels contain toxic chemicals, they pose little threat of site contamination.
On many power plants sheep are used to eat the grass growing under the panel with no side effects.
What happens in 20–30 years, when the power plant gets too old?
Although this project has been designed with a lifespan of 25 years, it is expected that solar panels can produce energy for several more years or decades.
When panels reach the end of their productive lives, they can be broken down into their component parts and recycled. More than 90 percent of a PV module can be recycled; 80 percent of that is glass, with the remainder metals (including silver and aluminum), plastic components, and semiconductors. Furthermore, a number of manufacturers offer voluntary panel take-back programs. Like all manufactured products, the production of solar panels does cost energy—however, studies show that the panels’ energy production more than pays off the energy cost of their manufacture, with energy-cost paybacks of less than two years.
You can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 1300 088 565.
Interested in a career with Photon Energy? Please send your resumé and a cover letter to email@example.com indicating which solar farm project you would like to work on and highlighting what skills and experience you can offer in the development or operation of the project.