Singaporean renewable energy company Equis Energy have advised they are planning on building a 1,000MW solar farm (which would be the largest solar farm in Australia) in Wandoan. The Wandoan solar farm will be situated right in the middle of Queensland’s coal and gas region – in Queensland’s area of the Surat Basin. This is exciting news for Queensland solar and Australian solar farms in general – it could potentially be one of the biggest solar farms in the world.
About the Wandoan Solar Farm
The farm, which would add to the existing 4,000MW of renewable energy currently planned for QLD, will cover 1424 hectares and generate between 300 and 400 jobs during construction. According to the Toowoomba Chronicle, the $2 billion project will commence construction in the next 12 months and work will be staggered over a three year period.
Paul McVeigh, the Western Downs Regional Council Mayor, was quoted in the Chronicle as saying the farm will represent a significant investment in the area – “It’s a $2 billion construction cost and of that we expect at least 50 per cent of that to be invested in the local community,” Cr McVeigh said. According to the Chinchilla News it is a $1.5 billion investment, but whichever price the farm ends up costing there’s no doubt it’ll be a massive boon to the community if it goes ahead.
Cr McVeigh was also quoted in the Chinchilla News about the way Equis and the Western Downs council are approaching the approval process: “Equis has expressed their desire to be proactive in their consultation with neighbours of this project site, and that aligns with the business model we are promoting for renewable energy projects. The time-frame in which council has processed this application highlights the message we are open for business, and I think it is important to reiterate that although our approval process is rigorous, it is efficient.”
Lastly, McVeigh discussed the myriad options the area has with regards to energy needs: “We have our coal and coal-fire powered stations and coal seam gas…(now) we have a third wave of energy with solar farms, wind farms about to start construction on and also the ethanol plan near Dalby.”
No word yet on the specifics of the site or if it’ll include any storage, but we’ll update this article as soon as we have any news about the farm.