Case Studies

Geotextiles for Melbourne’s Winneke Solar Farm

May 3, 2022

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Project snapshot

Melbourne Water is constructing a new solar farm in close proximity to the existing Winneke Water Treatment Plant. Establishing this onsite solar farm to help power the Winneke Water Treatment Plant is a practical way to help Melbourne Water cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with their pathway to zero by 2030. 

This 9 MW Project will consist of approximately 20,000 solar panels and cover an area of 10 hectares on land along the northern shore of Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills.

Earlier this year the initial stages of the project commenced, with hardstand construction and access road upgrades to ensure safe and efficient travel for heavy vehicles and equipment. 

The challenges

In order to meet the required CBR, the existing subgrade needed to be stabilised and reinforced to assist with stabilising onsite retaining walls. 

The project team also needed to ensure adequate drainage behind these retaining walls to remove water and alleviate any hydrostatic pressure.

Our solution

Polyfabrics worked with the project team to provide technical support and prompt supply of two suitable geogrids for this project. 

Pavements were designed with mastaGRID 2020GT over the subgrade with a 200mm of 20mm crushed rock sub base. The area also required an additional layer of mastaGRID 2020SX between the subbase and 150mm pavement base course.

This pavement design allowed for the rapid construction of long access tracks and hardstands directly over the Greenfields with low shear strength / bearing capacity without the need for any excavation or subgrade preparation. 

This affordable and quick to install solution saved the project team time and money and provided a suitably strong and well-drained surface for the access road pavements. 

At Polyfabrics, our geosynthetic engineering team can offer advice on a wide range of solutions for hardstand and access tracks construction for large projects such as solar/wind farms. Get in touch with our specialist team to find out more.


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