Gympie Solar Farm to Supply 15% of South-East Queensland’s Energy Needs

Gympie CouncilImage attribution: Gympie Town Council, Queensland

A Gympie solar farm will supply 15% of south-east Queensland’s energy needs, as the state attempts to meet its target of 50% renewable energy by 2030. A development application has been lodged to build what will be Australia’s biggest solar farm at Gympie in Queensland.

Queensland company Solar Q says the $2 billion facility to be built at Gympie, 170 kilometres north of Brisbane, will eventually supply about 15 per cent of south-east Queensland’s power needs.

An application has been lodged with Gympie Council to build the solar farm and battery storage facility 30 kilometres north-west of the town.

Initial approval is being sought for a 350-megawatt facility, but within four years it is proposed to increase this to 800 megawatts or enough electricity to power about 315,000 homes.

Gympie solar farm

A future Gympie solar farm? Image: Public Domain.

The biggest solar farm in Australia

Solar Q Managing Director Scott Armstrong said the finished facility would be the biggest solar farm in Australia.

“To give you an idea of size, at ultimate design it will provide around 15 per cent of south-east Queensland’s energy requirements from both the solar panels and the 4,000 megawatt hours of energy storage,” Mr Armstrong said.

He said the solar farm would supply power to the electricity grid via an existing substation at Lower Wonga.

“That sub-station will actually feed energy to Kilkivan, Gympie and Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

Gympie named a top solar energy postcode

Gympie was named as one of the top postcodes for solar uptake in a 2015 list, and this latest development adds to Queensland’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.

Gympie Mayor Mick Curran said the project would create 450 jobs during its construction.

“This project is subject to council and state approvals so there are a few hoops to go through before the sod is actually turned on this project,” Cr Curran said.

“But with the liaison that has occurred between this company and our town planners, there doesn’t appear to be any great hurdles to overcome. I would certainly look forward personally to seeing all of those approvals come to fruition.”