Gladstone, Queensland, is closer to hosting one million solar panels with the independent Coordinator-General approving Acciona Energy’s proposed 762-hectare Aldoga solar farm application in the city’s State Development Area.

Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, said Acciona Energy’s proposed Aldoga solar farm will create up to 240 construction jobs and ten ongoing jobs once operational.

“At maximum capacity the $400 million solar farm will generate around 250 megawatts of energy, which is enough to supply approximately 122,000 homes annually,” Mr Dick said.

“The power generated will be fed into the national electricity grid via a connection into the Powerlink Larcom Creek Station.

“A community benefit fund will also be established by Acciona Energy to invest $50,000 to $120,000 from the project back into the community each year.

“Over the lifetime of the project, this will see a total of $1.5 million to $3.6 million put back into Gladstone and surrounding areas.”

Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said there will be progress on site with the installation of two meteorological monitoring (MET) stations.

“These are being installed to gather data on the location’s climatic conditions,” Mr Butcher said.

“The information gathered will help fine tune the design of the solar farm, ensuring it is as productive as possible.”

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the project will contribute to the government’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.

“This solar farm will help us to reduce emissions and tackle a changing climate,” Dr Lynham said.

“The proponent will also adopt Buy Queensland and Gladstone Buy Local procurement policies, giving preference to local subcontractors and manufacturers.”

Acciona Energy signed a 30-year agreement in April 2018 with the Queensland Government to lease land for its Aldoga renewable energy project.

The Coordinator-General has placed strict conditions on the project to ensure any adverse impacts, such as construction traffic, visual impacts and stormwater flow, are managed appropriately.

The community benefit fund will be in the form of a scholarship and education program, a research and development program (partnering with CQU), and a sponsorship and small grants program (for community groups and not-for-profits).

Before joining the Utility team, Eliza worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years. Eliza has the rare talent of being able to find the nuggets of gold in otherwise average source material, and like any self-respecting member of gen-Y is a whiz when it comes to social media marketing and management.

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