Queensland’s largest solar energy project near Miles has signed up to connect to the state’s publicly-owned electricity grid.

Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said Luminous Energy has completed a contract to connect its proposed 162MW Columboola Solar Farm to the state’s network via Powerlink’s nearby Columboola Substation.

Dr Lynham said the solar farm would provide up to 400 construction jobs, and the substation and transmission line works would support another 17 jobs.

“Our state’s renewable revolution is full steam ahead with almost 2,400MW of renewable energy capacity now operating, and another 250MW underway or committed.

“We already have 30 solar farms, and more than 560,000 Queensland roofs sporting solar systems, with a combined generation capacity of more than 4,000MW.

“Importantly, Columboola Solar Farm will create five permanent jobs in the area on top of the construction jobs when it comes online in early 2021.”

Powerlink Interim Chief Executive, Kev Kehl, said the connection project involved works at Powerlink’s existing Columboola Substation and construction of almost 2km of transmission line.

“We have been partnering with the Luminous Energy project team over an extensive period of time to optimise their connection,” Mr Kehl said.

“Powerlink has delivered 13 connections for large-scale renewable projects across Queensland, representing more than 1,600MW of potential generation.”

Luminous Energy CEO, Jolyon Orchard, said the project is a major boost for clean energy generation in Queensland.

“We are proud to bring this significant supply of clean energy to a major demand centre of the grid. The project will significantly contribute to the Queensland Government’s goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Mr Orchard said.

“The sophisticated electrical design of the plant will enable a robust flow of low-carbon electricity to Queensland’s grid.

“It will also bring a considerable number of clean energy jobs to the Western Downs region and promote the growth of Queensland’s carbon-free economy and skills sector.”

Construction of the project’s transmission assets is due to start by April 2020.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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