Pacific Hydro has received Burdekin Shire Council approval to build one of Australia’s largest solar farms west of Giru.
Up to 240 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase of the Haughton Solar Farm, with up to 10 ongoing jobs during the operational phase.
Burdekin Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the solar farm would be built in three stages over eight years and reach up to a maximum capacity of 500MW, enough to power about 170,000 homes.
Council’s approval of the project was subject to the applicant meeting conditions, including upgrading part of the road used to access the site.
“We know Burdekin is ideal for large scale solar farms as it is recognised as having high levels of irradiation, along with large areas of flat terrain,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“The approved development is for a large-scale solar farm and battery storage facility to be built over a development area of 1,181ha at Keith Venables Road in the Upper Haughton.
“The Pacific Hydro solar farm represents a major investment in our Shire and in the Burdekin’s potential as a solar energy powerhouse of the future.”
The Pacific Hydro development is the third large-scale solar farm to gain approval in the Burdekin.
The 100MW Clare Solar Farm is being built by Downer Utilities for Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and the planned Koberinga Solar Farm at Wangaratta was approved at a council meeting April.
Also this week Rockhampton Regional Council passed a development application from Eco Energy World (EEW) Australia for a 300MW solar farm at Cherryfield Rd.in the Bouldercombe area.
“This is a huge and very exciting project for our Region. There’s potential for dozens of jobs during the site’s initial establishment and once it’s up and running – which is fantastic especially given that this project has a potential lifespan of up to 30 years,” Mayor Margaret Strelow said.