It said in an online statement that it wants to build the array on a 572-hectare stretch of cleared grazing land near Gympie. It claims the 18-month construction phase would create about 450 jobs, in addition to six to eight jobs to support post-construction operations.
Solar Q has submitted a development application to the Gympie city council to build the project with battery storage, according to The Gympie Times, quoting municipal government sources as saying that the facility would likely be approved for development. The company aims to start working on the project by the end of this year, but has not yet revealed which manufacturer would supply the required 1,300,000 panels.
Solar Q claims the array would account for 15% of the electricity needs of southeastern Queensland upon completion. It aims to eventually scale the site up to 800 MW.
Its announcement comes hot on the heels of several large investments in Australian PV. In April, a unit of Italian utility Enel and Dutch investment firm DIF revealed plans to acquire the first 137.5 MW phase of a 275 MW project in Port Augusta, South Australia, for $157 million. And in March, First Solar reached financial close on a 48.5 MW project in Mandrila, New South Wales. Construction is scheduled to start within the next two months.
Growing interest in PV+storage build-out also underscores how dramatically solar investment has picked up in the roughly two years since the country’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) was revised, ending months of political squabbling that stalled project development. In March, Lyon Group announced plans to move forward with the development of the world’s largest PV+storage project in South Australia. It expects to finish installing 330 MW of solar capacity and a 100 MW/400 MWh battery storage system near the town of Morgan by the end of this year. And last June, French renewables developer Neoen wrapped up construction of a 10.6 MW solar and 6 MW storage project at the DeGrussa mining site in Western Australia.