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Townsville solar farm approved by City Council

Townsville solar farm approved by City Council

Townsville solar has taken a leap ahead with the City Council has approving construction of a 400MW solar farm.

The solar farm at Woodstock met environmental regulations and received the green-light yesterday. The facility, spread over 540 hectares, will create more than 250 jobs, council says.

Council received the original application in April. Construction will begin mid-2018. The site is 40 km from the city centre, and most of the construction jobs will be sourced locally. Eventually, the facility will employ three to five permanent staff.

Environmental concerns addressed

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill described the project as a “substantial venture”.

Cr Hill said planners received one objection to the development proposal. Because of the objection, a black-throated finch habitat is no longer in the development plan area.

She also said conditions in place for the facility had Queensland Government approval. “We are mindful that it is not a whole destruction of the vegetation,” she said.

The solar farm will occupy only 540 of a possible 2,300 hectares to adhere to an environmental survey.

The plan excluded wetlands and also other environmentally significant areas from the solar farm’s footprint.

Sun Metals Townsville solar array nearing completion

Meanwhile, Townsville’s massive Sun Metals solar generation plant is also nearing completion.

The Sun Metals Zinc Refinery is 15 km south of Townsville’s CBD. The company produces 10 per cent of the world’s zinc from plants in Korea, the US and Australia.

Comprising 450,000 solar PV modules, the facility will generate enough clean electricity to meet the power needs equivalent to 50,000 households.

Queensland’s green energy bonanza

Queensland is experiencing a renewable energy jobs bonanza, with employment in the sector also rising to 7,194 in October 2017.

That’s according to the latest Renewable Energy Index for October, published by Green Energy Markets.

Queensland was also the only state to sign off on major new large-scale renewable energy projects in October. These are the Kennedy wind, solar and battery park, and the Emerald Solar Farm.

The $160 million Kennedy Energy Park began construction after securing finance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Upon completion of phase one, a $2 billion investment will see the park expand to 1,200MW in size.

News item provided courtesy of Energy Matters Australia