REVEALED: Application lodged for huge Rodds Bay solar farm
THE company behind what could be the region's first huge solar farm say Gladstone's energy-hungry industries will benefit from the project moving forward.
Renew Estate - a joint venture between Wirsol Energy and Beast Solutions Pty Ltd - has submitted its plans for a 300MW solar farm at Rodds Bay near Bororen in a development application to the Gladstone Regional Council.
It said the $400million solar farm would supply affordable, reliable electricity to Gladstone's existing heavy industries, and would give a boost to Queensland's ongoing transition to renewable energy.
Renew Estate said once constructed the solar farm would be a "central pillar" to the region's industry ecosystem. "Power prices are regularly identified as a major concern to industry groups, and a growing threat to Queensland industry and employment," it said.
"In addition to creating opportunities for local businesses, the project will provide broad support to local industry... through reducing energy prices and improving the sustainability of the regional supply chain."
The Rodds Bay project, proposed to be constructed on a 2758ha block at Red Hill Rd, is one of two solar farms Renew Estate wants to build before the end of next year in the Gladstone region, the second being at Yarwun.
"While (coal-fired power stations) will have a continued role in contributing to power supply and system stability, without the introduction of new supply, these aging assets will likely pose a continual risk of energy security for our nation," the proposal states
Construction of the solar farm is expected to create about 300 jobs for 12 months. In its first two years of being operational, the project will need 5-10 full-time employees, which will reduce to 3-5 thereafter.
The company is seeking a development permit for a material change of use from the Gladstone Regional Council.