The group can now proceed with the development of the Beelbee project, which will be built roughly 40 km west of Dalby, Queensland, according to the Western Downs Regional Council. The local government body has now approved nine solar projects for development in the Western Downs, a region near the city of Brisbane. In August, it gave Singapore-based Equis Energy the green light to build a massive 1 GW solar plant near the town of Wandoan.
“There’s even more development applications in the pipeline,” said Andrew Smith, deputy mayor of the Western Downs Regional Council.
This summer, APA started building another project in the area. It bought the rights to build the 110 MW Darling Downs project from Origin Energy in May, with the option to purchase the nearby Beelbee project. It has already secured a grant of A$20 million ($16.1 million) from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the Darling Downs site, which will be finished late next year.
APA, a Sydney-based energy infrastructure specialist, expects the new Beelbee installation to create roughly 450 construction jobs. Among its other projects in Australia, it recently started building a 20 MW solar array at a site near the town of Cervantes, roughly 200 km north of Perth, Western Australia. It expects to complete the project in January, with A$5.5 million of funding from ARENA.