One of Australia’s largest solar projects has been given approval by the Burdekin Shire Council. The Haughton solar farm project is owned by Pacific Hydro and is expected to create 240 construction jobs.
The project will be delivered in three stages over eight years and will have a maximum capacity of 500mw, or enough to power 170,000 homes.
According to Pacific Hydro, The development of Haughton Solar Farm will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by proposing a renewable energy source for the local and surrounding community, whilst assisting in reaching greenhouse gas reduction targets in Queensland and making a considerable contribution to the Renewable Energy Target."
The approval is still subject to Pacific Hydro meeting certain conditions, including upgrading a section of the road used to access the site. Buderkin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin spoke about the significant solar project,
“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 use does not compromise the long term productive capacity of the land nor does it negatively impact on current soil classes”
“If the solar farm becomes unviable or past its operational lifespan, the land can be converted back to agricultural land unencumbered.”
The tender process for construction of the Haughton Solar Farm is expected to be conducted in mid-2017 with construction beginning in early 2018.