Neoen acknowledges the Wiradjuri people, Traditional Owners of the land on which Coleambally Solar Farm harvests the energy of the sun. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.


Neoen uses similar technology to that used in residential solar photovoltaic installations with the main difference being that solar farm panels are usually mounted on systems that track the sun through the sky. Coleambally Solar Farm uses premium quality solar panels and other technologies provided by leading manufacturers.

The Colleambally solar farm will operate for between 25 and 30 years. Depending on the local environment, the panels can generate electricity for 30 years or more with only about 0.5% efficiency loss each year.

When photon of light shine on a solar panel they knock electrons free on an electrical circuit and product electricity. Inverters regulate the accumulation of electricity from a selection of solar panels and at the substation the electricity is distributed to the grid. The angle at which the light hits the panel relates to the amount of energy that can be harvested from it, which is why tracking systems help to optimise solar generation.

The solar panels at Coleambally are 1m x 2m in size and are arranged in rows that typically have 90 panels. These rows of solar panels are spaced 5 to 7m apart. The height of a fully tilted solar panel is 3 to 4 metres above the ground.

Photovoltaic panels are designed to reflect as little light as possible (generally around 2%) in order to maximise their efficiency. This is why solar farms are not considered reflective and have been installed at or near number of airports.


Each of Neoen’s projects benefit the local community by creating employment. Over 300 people were employed during the construction of the Coleambally solar farm with a full-time site technician employed locally during operations supported by a range of local and regional sub-contractors and suppliers.
Renewable energy projects are now the cheapest sources of new energy generation. Solar energy projects produce energy at less than $50 per megawatt hour. The costs of other sources of generation are:


  • Existing coal: approximately $40 per megawatt hour
  • Combined gas-cycle: approximately $75 per megawatt hour
  • New coal: approximately $130 per megawatt hour

Solar energy forms just one part of the Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO) move towards renewable energy. Solar farms add to the supply side of the electricity supply-demand equation, which puts downward pressure on all electricity bills.

Neoen does not require government subsidies to finance its projects. We finance our projects through a combination of our own equity and long-term bank loans. However, we sometimes enter into agreements with governments or businesses to sell the power produced by our projects.

Health & Culture

No health issues have been associated with solar panels. Solar panels are installed on more than 25% of Australian homes and have been on homes throughout the world for the past 15 years.

Coleambally Solar Farm uses the same type of solar panel technology.


Neoen engages specialist consultants to undertake detailed flora and fauna surveys to determine the ecological attributes of the land.

On all of our projects, we aim to minimise the impact on flora and fauna by designing projects to be constructed outside areas of high conservation significance and adopting control measures during the construction process.

Other mitigation measures include preparing management plans, identifying ‘no-go zones’ within the project site and conducting pre-clearance surveys. Neoen also consults with government departments of environment and biodiversity throughout the development, construction and operational stages of projects, as well as local non-government organisations.

Colleambally Solar Farm is home to sheep who graze the vegetation around the solar panels throughout the year.
There is no inherent fire risk attached to photovoltaic panels or solar farms. There is a cleared vegetation zone around the edges of the solar farms to prevent fire propagation. This is complemented by a strict vegetation management plan.