Queensland council approves $1 billion solar farm

Queensland council approves $1 billion solar farm

Toowoomba, Queensland, looks likely to become home to Australia’s largest solar farm after a 5000ha development proposal was approved by the regional council.

Construction on the 52.6sq km Bulli Creek site near Powerlink’s substation near Millmerran, south-west of Toowoomba, is expected to start next year. It will be on cleared, flat cattle grazing land that is largely flooded with sunshine.

Developer Solar Choice has received approval for the 2GW solar plant, with the company aiming to begin construction on the $1 billion project sometime in 2016.

Managing director Angus Gemmell said if the farm reached its full potential it would take Australia 25 per cent closer to achieving the mandated 41,000GWh target by 2020.

“There are a lot of people saying there’s not enough of a pipeline to reach the target. This project shows it could absolutely be reached,” Mr Gemmell said, as reported by The Courier-Mail.

“We need 8GW by 2020 to reach the target and this project could represent one quarter of that.”

Mr Gemmell called on the Federal Government to end the uncertainty around the large-scale RET, saying ‘big solar’ had strong support among regional communities.

“The (Toowoomba) Council’s decision is an exciting milestone, we’re a third of the way there,” he said.