Lakeland Solar and Storage Project – Platipus® Civil Anchors
BMD Constructions Pty Ltd
Geoinventions Consulting Services
Lakeland, North Queensland
The Lakeland Solar and Storage project located south-west of Cooktown in North Queensland was Australia’s first utility-scale solar and battery project to connect to the very fringe of the Australian energy grid supplying reliable energy for the surrounding region. The reliability of renewable energy projects has been a hot topic since the South Australian blackouts in September 2017, and this battery storage technology is one way of addressing such issues.
With variable and unforeseen ground conditions experienced during installation, construction challenges were faced to drive the nominated piled proprietary solar panel systems to the required depths. Additional holding down remedial measures was therefore designed and implemented to address local storm and weather conditions that are experienced in far North Queensland. A retrofit Platipus® anchor system was chosen and designed for ‘Working Loads’ of up to 20kN (2tons). The design life for the anchor systems was 25 years.
Initial trials were carried out in this relatively remote Australian location to determine anchor driveability and load verification. A total of 560no. Platipus S6 and 135no. Platipus S8 anchor systems were installed and instantly load verified over a short period of 2 weeks. Resources included a small excavator and two additional operatives with additional installation and load testing gear supplied by Cirtex Australia.
The Platipus anchor system provided the following benefits and features:
- Remedial holding down measures that could easily be implemented post constructionQuick and
- straightforward connection detailing to solar panel frames with stainless steel tendons, thimbles and rope gripsNo messy grouting, minimum environmental impact and immediate mechanical load
- Relatively low ‘Total’ (Supply & Install) cost anchor solution in comparison to other systems and solutions