Site preparation works are starting at the $225 million Ross River Solar Farm project, 20km south of Townsville, with construction expected to start by the end of the month.
Project director Lyndon Frearson said priority tasks before construction were the creation of a new site road entry, installation of perimeter fencing and set-up of a site office and facilities for the construction team.
Construction of the 148MW solar farm is expected to be completed within 12 months, with a peak workforce of about 250 contractors and labourers.
Australian-based solar developer ESCO Pacific and specialist independent infrastructure manager Palisade Investment Partners are developing the project, with Downer Utilities appointed as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.
“Recruitment is happening now to ensure we have a pool of appropriately skilled local workers to work alongside our specialist project team and operations staff. Individuals or companies that would like to understand the opportunities for Australian Industry can contact us via the website,” Mr Frearson said.
The project website is www.rossriversolarfarm.com.au and the proponents have set up a telephone hotline to respond to community enquiries during construction – 0475 802 063.
A total of 417,600 polycrystalline solar panels are being procured for the project and will be delivered via containers in stages to the Port of Townsville.
The solar panels will be attached to a ground-mounted single axis tracking system that will slowly track the daily movement of the sun, maximising the amount of energy the solar farm generates.