Fixed array at a solar farm.
Fixed array at a solar farm. EIWA Solar Bundaberg Pty Ltd

REVEALED: Plans for new $75M solar farm to deliver jobs

BUNDY's reputation as the county's solar capital has been further affirmed with plans lodged for a new $75 million solar farm.

The proposed infrastructure has been slated for a 73.81ha parcel of land off the Childers Rd, near the Bundaberg Ring Rd.

Bundaberg Regional Council last week received the development application seeking a material change of use to establish a commercial scale 42MW solar facility, which is expected to create 30 jobs during construction and five permanent jobs once operational.

Planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said large scale solar farming was a growth industry across Australia and, given the generous hours of sunshine, it was not surprising that renewable energy projects had been identified for the Bundaberg Region.

"Project proponents, DDN Green Pty Ltd plan to incorporate 147,840 solar panels on the property to ultimately distribute power via a substation connected with Ergon Energy infrastructure.

"The panels, when mounted, will be less than three metres in height and will cover approximately 67 hectares of the site. In addition to the solar panels, the site will cater to 600 inverters, eight transformer substations and one substation.

"The site will be secured by chain wire security fencing ranging between 1.8m and 2.2m in height with a fixed CCTV system in place."

Cr Sommerfeld said the selected site enhanced its suitability as a solar farm for the generation of renewable energy due to its proximity to a major substation, the power grid, negligible flood risk and suitable climatic conditions.

"Additionally, according to the proponents the proposed use of the site would have no discernible impact on adjacent properties and would complement the semi-rural nature of the area," he said.

"It is anticipated that, if approved, the site will produce solar power for up to 30 years after which time the project would be reassessed either for refurbishment or decommissioning."

Cr Sommerfeld said a $210 million 75MW solar farm is currently under construction near Childers which will comprise of 400,000 panels on a 180ha site.

It also comes after data released earlier this year from the Clean Energy Regulator identified the postcodes with the highest solar uptake since 2001.

Bundaberg took out the title with 11,756 commercial properties and homes with solar panels installed.