Our solar farm project heats up with build date released
CONSTRUCTION of a solar farm south of Gladstone is set to kick off later this year and is expected to be one of Australia's largest solar projects.
Rodds Bay solar farm is a 300MWdc project developed by Renew Estate and will connect a strong part of Queensland's 275kV transmission network between Bororen and Rodds Bay.
According to project information, a solar farm this size is expected to produce 625GWh of renewable energy each year which is enough to power almost 90,000 homes.
Powerlink recently signed a connection agreement for the project and Renew Estate director Tom Harrison said his company had enjoyed a close working relationship with Powerlink.
"We are very happy to be moving forward into the next stage of this project," Mr Harrison said.
Gladstone Regional Council also gave approval to develop an 82MW/164MWh battery on site.
Construction is scheduled to commence by the fourth quarter of this year and will be one of the most advanced solar developments in Queensland.
Renew Estate director Simon Currie said his company passionately believed the project would deliver significant and impactful benefits to Gladstone and the wider regional Queensland economy.
"Our vision for this solar farm has always been to create positive and enduring social and economic legacies, including the creation of hundreds of jobs during construction," Mr Currie said.
"It will be one of the first renewable energy projects located close to Gladstone and will play a pivotal role in enabling Gladstone to become the future energy capital of Australia."
The project will feature high-efficiency photovoltaic modules mounted on a single-axis tracking array structure, allowing the solar modules to follow the sun from east to west each day.
Tracking structures will be mounted on piles, eliminating the need for concrete and foundations and keeping ground disturbance to a minimum. The construction method means existing vegetation would be maximised and likely maintained by grazing sheep.
And as the project steams ahead, Mr Currie said the company was committed to using local services and contractors throughout the project.
Renew Estate previously told The Observer the project was expected to create 300 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs once the site was operational.
The company previously planned to build a second solar farm at Yarwun but the project was scrapped after community backlash over its proximity to residents.