Barcaldine could soon be the home of a massive solar farm being planned by a a consortium of Spanish companies.
According to the ABC, Spanish company, Kingsway Europe SL and partners Elecnor Australia, have already purchased land east of the central-west Queensland town for the project, with construction due to commence next year.
At a public town meeting held earlier this week, Joseph de Pedro from Elecnor said around 100 jobs would be created during the year-long construction phase.
“We would rather employ those people locally, in preference to bringing them in from Brisbane, or Sydney or anywhere else for that matter,” Mr de Pedro said.
“We are going to be installing approximately 80,000 panels. We have got here approximately 35 hectares, so about 80 per cent of this land is going to be covered with solar panels,” he said.
“The capability of this power plant is to provide electricity for more than 7,000 homes.”
Mr de Pedro said Barcaldine was chosen for the project as is was a place of high quality sunlight and was in close proximity to a gas-fired power station and other important infrastructure. He said it had the potential to become the biggest solar farm in the state.
“We also own two satellites in orbit, so we have done cartography studies and planning studies of different regions, and Barcaldine offers one of the best radiation spots in the world,” Mr de Pedro said.
“The other closest spot would be the Atacama Desert in northern part of Chile.”
Mr de Pedro said solar panels used on the farm would tilt to follow the direction of the sun as it crosses the sky.
“All the power that would be generated in Barcaldine is going to be connected through a connection agreement into the network that is owned by Ergon and then transported throughout,” Mr de Pedro said.
Elecnor is currently building a similar solar farm near Moree in New South Wales and has developed project in countries around the world.