Burdekin Shire Council has approved CleanGen Projects’ plan to develop the $280 million Burdekin Solar Farm at Clare.
The 140MW solar farm, to be developed on a 227ha site at Ayr Dalbeg Rd, is expected to create up to 400 construction jobs and 10 operational roles.
Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the CleanGen Projects solar farm represented a major investment in the shire and in the Burdekin’s potential as a solar energy powerhouse.
“The Burdekin, with its abundant sunshine and available land, is very well positioned to accommodate this type of new and exciting industry,” she said.
“Our Council is all for growing the Burdekin and diversification will ensure growth in employment and a sustainable economy into the future.”
It is the fifth large-scale solar farm to gain approval in the Burdekin Shire.
CleanGen Projects managing director Koovashni Reddy said the solar farm included battery storage and would connect to the local grid.
“The battery storage will help produce power when the sun doesn’t shine and assist with grid stability services,” Ms Reddy said.
She said the project would offer apprenticeships to train local youth and would also be encouraging employment opportunities for women during the construction and operational phases.
Construction is expected in 2018.
the approval comes just a month after Mareeba Shire Council approved a CleanGen Projects planning application for the 60MW Mareeba Solar Farm south-west of Mareeba, also expected to start construction next year.
CleanGen says that proposal will have numerous benefits for the community and local economy including the creation of 200 construction jobs and up to 10 full-time operational roles.