Construction on the project, located close to the town of Childers, is expected to begin towards the end of the first half of 2017. The next step will be for Esco to work with network operators Ergon, in order to establish grid connection for the project.
Landowner David Torrisi was searching for an environmentally friendly way to enhance his property on the Isis river, and found that the 180ha site was an “ideal fit” for a PV project. Torrisi also stated that he was “very excited to be involved and bring much needed power in the region.”
Torrisi also plans to continue to farm sheep on the land taken up by the solar farm, which he says will maintain the land and avoid the use of any pesticides or herbicides.
“The facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year,” said Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. “During the construction phase upwards of 150 jobs will be created across the nine month construction frame. Once completed, five full time and 10 part time positions will need to be filled.”
A tender process is expected to open next month for the farm’s construction. The farm will have an operational lifetime of 30 years.
This will be the second utility scale project to be approved in Queensland in the past 3 months, with UK developers Eco Energy World having been given the green light for a 140 MW project near Maryborough, as part of the state’s huge plan to install 1 GW of solar over the next two years.