The Central Highlands’ first solar farm was given the green light this week.
The 400-hectare solar farm is planned for a property near Tieri, in Central Queensland, representing an investment in the vicinity of $400 million and creating up to 200 jobs for around 18 months during the construction phase.
The development is proposed by FRV Services Australia, a global leader in the renewable energy sector that develops, constructs, finances, operates and maintains long-term solar energy projects throughout the world.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire said the development is a “significant vote of confidence in the region”.
“The solar farm will be built on grazing land near the Lilyvale substation,” the mayor said.
“As we understand, the solar panels will be mounted in rows on a system that will track the path of the sun around a solar plant substation.
“There’s no doubt Tieri and the surrounding towns of Capella and Emerald will benefit from the activity associated with the construction and I’m pleased the company had confidence in the service capacity of our region to make their choice.
“This type of investment in the Central Highlands is exactly the type of diversification of enterprise and economic focus that we need in the face of current challenges in the resource industry.”
Council’s decision coincided with the Queensland Government’s announcement on the same day that it will increase the capacity of its large-scale solar auction to 60MW from 40MW as it seeks to accelerate a transition from the ‘sunshine state’ to the ‘solar state’ to meets it 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.