The Western Downs Green Power Hub in Queensland has reached the end of construction on the largest solar farm in Australia.
Totalling more than one million solar panels, the 400MW Western Downs Green Power Hub has the capacity to power the equivalent of 235,000 Queensland homes and is connected to the Queensland SuperGrid by a new 275kV line built by Powerlink.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said, “Queensland is leading the charge with renewable power so it’s no surprise that the sunshine state is now home to the largest solar farm in the country.
“Our government has made it clear that Queensland homes will be powered by renewable energy from solar farms just like this one through the SuperGrid.
“I’m pleased we can deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to every Queenslander because we own our power lines and the majority of power generation,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Located near Chinchilla, the Queensland Government’s publicly owned CleanCo Queensland has signed a power purchase agreement with owners Neoen for 80 per cent of the power generated at the site.
Deputy Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said, “Queensland is building the infrastructure and delivering more clean, green power generation and more jobs.
“We are blazing a trail when it comes to green energy and the capacity this solar farm will be able to produce is a testament to the Palaszczuk Government’s vision for Queensland.
“Our Energy and Jobs Plan means more opportunities for businesses, more skilled jobs and more growth, especially for our regional communities.”
The completion of panel installation will allow the final testing and commissioning phase of the project to begin to get it to full capacity.
Managing Director of Neoen Australia, Louis de Sambucy, said, “We are delighted to have completed the panel installation of the largest solar farm in Australia at Western Downs, and we’re excited about the strong contribution that this asset will make to Queensland’s rapidly accelerating energy transition.”
Construction of the project has also delivered a huge boost to Queensland’s regional economies, with an estimated $800 million in economic activity.
The solar farm is another major investment towards delivering 70 per cent renewable energy by 2032 under the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.
Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2030, Lance McCallum, said, “The renewable energy being generated is already supplying some of CleanCo’s biggest customers including Coles, BHP, and Westfield shopping centres.
“This is our Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan in action, delivering more jobs in more industries, affordable power, lower emissions, and stronger economic growth,” Mr McCallum said.
CleanCo CEO, Tom Metcalfe, said, “The renewable energy generated by the Western Downs Green Power Hub will supply some of CleanCo’s biggest customers including Coles and BHP.
“Projects like these complement CleanCo’s portfolio of fast ramping, flexible gas and hydro generators to provide our customers with 24/7 reliable clean energy.
“We are proud to support renewable energy projects like the Western Downs Green Power Hub that deliver great local employment opportunities and economic outcomes in regional Queensland.
“The renewable solar energy generated here in Queensland’s Western Downs will contribute to the long-term sustainability of Queensland industries and communities, helping them to thrive in a net zero future.”
Feature Image: Western Downs Green Power Hub in Queensland. Provided by the Queensland Government.