Cloncurry solar farm project gets government green light

The Queensland Government has named Ingenero as preferred tender to design, build and operate a 2.128MW solar farm at Cloncurry, north-west Queensland.

Queensland Energy Minister Stephen Robertson and Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan made the announcement at the proposed site in Cloncurry in December.

Mr Robertson said Ingenero was selected from 19 expressions of interest received from Australian and international companies.

“The government is progressing contractual negotiations with Ingenero to build and operate the solar farm on land close to the Cloncurry North electricity substation along Sir Hudson Fysh Drive,” Mr Robertson said.

“The solar farm will comprise 7600 polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels mounted on multiple rows at an angle of 25 degrees and facing due north to maximise the exposure to the sun’s rays.

“These panels will generate approximately 3700MW hours of electricity per year which is enough to power approximately 500 households.”

Construction of the solar farm is scheduled to begin in July 2012 subject to Ingenero receiving development approvals and concluding contractual and land lease arrangements, plus network connection and power purchase agreements. Weather permitting, the Cloncurry solar farm should be completed in October 2012.

Ms Kiernan said the Queensland Government is investing $5.7 million towards the total project cost of $6.76 million.

“We promised the people of Cloncurry a solar farm and we’re delivering on that commitment,” Ms Kiernan said.

“Cloncurry is an ideal location for a solar farm and shire residents will benefit from the clean renewable energy that it will contribute to their local electricity supply.”

Queensland’s installed solar power capacity hit 612MW at the end of October 2011.