JOBS: Aldoga solar farm passes major milestone
GLADSTONE'S growing reputation as a renewable energy hub has gained further traction with the independent Coordinator-General approving a development application for the 762ha Aldoga solar farm.
Located in the city's State Development Area, the facility could hold one million solar panels and produce enough power to supply 122,000 homes annually.
The project was announced in April last year with Acciona Energy signing a 30-year agreement with the Queensland Government to lease land.
Further conditions still need to be met but the announcement is a significant milestone and it's expected construction will start next year with completion by the second half of the year.
The Coordinator-General has placed strict conditions on the project to ensure any adverse impacts such as construction traffic, visual impacts and stormwater flow are managed appropriately.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said Acciona Energy's proposed Aldoga solar farm would create up to 240 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs once operational.
"At maximum capacity the $400million solar farm will generate around 250 megawatts of energy," Mr Dick said.
"The power generated will be fed into the national electricity grid via a connection into the Powerlink Larcom Creek Station.
"A community benefit fund will also be established by Acciona Energy to invest $50,000 to $120,000 from the project back into the community each year.
"Over the lifetime of the project, this will see a total of $1.5million to $3.6million put back into Gladstone and surrounding areas."
The community benefit fund will be in the form of a scholarship and education program, a research and development program (partnering with CQUniversity), and a sponsorship and small grants program (for community groups and not-for-profits).
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said locals would notice progress on site with the installation of two meteorological monitoring stations.
"These are being installed to gather data on the location's climatic conditions," Mr Butcher said.
"The information gathered will help fine-tune the design of the solar farm, ensuring it is as productive as possible."
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the project will contribute to the State Government's renewable energy target of 50per cent by 2030.
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett welcomed news of the approved Aldoga solar farm development application.
"It is fantastic to see Gladstone continue to cement itself as the place to invest in future energy," Cr Burnett said.
"We have proved time and time again we are committed to developing and innovating within the energy sectors."
Cr Burnett said the approved development application again highlighted the region's strategic advantages when it came to providing the space for further advancements within the energy industry.