Leaghur Homestead – Off Grid Solar Solution

Project Overview:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service required an upgrade of the power supply to Leaghur Homestead in Mungo National Park to accommodate future expansion requirements and improve reliability. The site was supplied by a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) from a transformer in Buronga, over 125km away. Due to the remote location, it wasn’t feasible or economical to upgrade the entire power reticulation to the site.

NPWS conducted an open tender process after first commissioning reports from electrical engineers. Foreman-Sheean was selected by the tender review panel to construct a Hybrid Stand Alone Power System (SAPS) comprising a battery charger, photovoltaic (PV) array, battery storage, site backup generator, and connection to the existing Single Wire Earth Return (SWER).


The Challenges

The primary challenge was designing a power supply system capable of running the homestead electrical load while overcoming the remote location in far western NSW. The power supply upgrade project was running in parallel with refurbishment of the homestead, with both projects expected to complete around the same time.

The SAPS contract initially specified single-phase power, while the homestead refurbishment contract specified three-phase. The design was changed from single to three-phase supply. There were also minor delays to battery design and delivery. Road closures due to rainfall and COVID-19 lockdowns added to the challenges.


Scope of Work / Solution

Foreman-Sheean’s solution included a full redesign of the SAPS to accommodate the three-phase supply, compliant with the homestead refurbishment contract. The team supplied and installed a battery charger,PV array, battery storage, site backup generator, and connection to the existing SWER.

The solar system and generator were situated in the grounds outside the dwelling. The project team managed the relevant site works, including excavation and cable trenching, installation of electrical equipment, and commissioning of the SAPS.


The Outcome

NPWS was delighted with the result. The upgrade of the power supply system to Leaghur Homestead has provided a reliable and sustainable source of off-grid solar energy to accommodate future expansion requirements. Despite some initial challenges, the project completed successfully, on time, and within budget