Work is expected to start on site this month for the 100MW Clare Solar Farm, with the Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) project expected to be operational in late 2017.
FRV Australia managing director Cameron Garnsworthy said lead construction contractor Downer Utilities was completing a detailed construction plan for delivery of the project, 35km west of Ayr.
“Clare Solar Farm will boost the regional economy by creating about 200 jobs during construction and five jobs full time when completed,” he said.
“It will generate more electricity than any other solar project built to date in Australia, which will be enough to power about 42,000 Queensland homes.”
Mr Garnsworthy said FRV had asked Downer Utilities to specifically look at hiring local businesses to provide services such as electrical work, earthworks, transport, materials, fencing and hospitality during the construction and operation stages.
Downer EDI has won the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract and a two-year Operations and Maintenance (O & M) contract, valued around $190 million in total, for the Clare Solar Farm.
China-based Trina Solar has been selected to supply the PV modules for the solar farm.
They will be high performance mono-crystalline Duomax panels rated at 1500 volts – a product specifically designed to improve project Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE).
FRV is also proposing a second stage development at Clare which would provide a further 36MW of renewable energy using similar technology to that approved for use at the Clare Solar Farm.
If approved, Clare II will be built on a site immediately adjacent to the approved Clare Solar project.
“FRV is excited to bring our innovative, efficient and safe solar technology to the Burdekin region, and in doing so, deliver a new, sustainable industry that will complement existing agricultural ventures in the area,” Mr Garnsworthy said.
FRV also plans to start construction by mid-year on the 100MW Lilyvale Solar Farm north-east of Emerald. FRV estimates up to 200 workers will be needed to complete Lilyvale Solar Farm’s construction and five ongoing roles will be created once the project is operational.
FRV announced a power purchase agreement with Origin Energy in February for 100 per cent of the Lilyvale’s offtake and all large scale renewable energy certificates (LRECs).
The company also has council approval to develop a 30MW PV solar farm in the Western Downs region of Queensland, with that project expected to create 90 construction jobs. The project will be located at the intersection of Blaxland–South Rd and the Warrego Highway and is set to cover 82ha.