Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has approved a development application for a 762-hectare solar farm in Gladstone’s State Development Area (SDA), subject to conditions.
The approval is for Acciona Energy’s proposed Aldoga solar farm, which will generate 250 megawatts of energy – enough to supply approximately 122,000 homes annually.
The power generated from the solar farm will be fed into the national electricity grid via a connection into the Powerlink Larcom Creek Station.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the proposed Aldoga solar farm will create up to 240 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs once operational, adding that a community benefit fund will also be established by Acciona Energy to invest $50,000 to $120,000 from the project back into the community each year.
“Over the lifetime of the project, this will see a total of $1.5 million to $3.6 million put back into Gladstone and surrounding areas,” the Minister noted.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said two meteorological monitoring (MET) stations are already being installed on site.
“These are being installed to gather data on the location’s climatic conditions,” Mr Butcher said.
“The information gathered will help fine tune the design of the solar farm, ensuring it is as productive as possible.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham said the project will take Queensland a step closer to reaching the Government’s renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.
“This solar farm will help us to reduce emissions and tackle a changing climate,” Dr Lynham said.
“The proponent will also adopt Buy Queensland and Gladstone Buy Local procurement policies, giving preference to local sub-contractors and manufacturers.”
The project is conditioned on ensuring that any adverse impacts, such as construction traffic, visual impacts and stormwater flow, are managed appropriately.