Western Downs’ solar obsession continues with 250 MW solar farm

Western Downs Regional CouncilWestern Downs Regional Council

Queensland’s Western Downs solar boom continued this week, with the approval of a 250 MW solar farm west of Toowoomba.

Western Downs Regional Council gave the green light to the project, which is located 23 km south-east of Chinchilla.

It is the tenth solar farm approved in the region in the last 20 months.

The project is expected to generate 300 full-time jobs during the construction phase, in addition to between two and four full-time jobs during the operational phase.

Council approves two solar farms in one week

The announcement comes off the back of Tuesday’s approval of a 240 MW solar farm west of Dalby.

Solar farm in rural setting

Solar farms are making a major contribution to rural agricultural energy needs.

The APA Group Beelbee Solar Farm project is located on Beelbee Road. It will complement the Darling Downs Solar Farm, which is under construction along Grahams Road in Kogan.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the approval marked a milestone for the region.

“This project will not only generate jobs and economic vitality, it most importantly shows we are leading the way in renewable energy as a pillar of our economy,” he said.

“The Western Downs has cemented its name as the Energy Capital of Australia, and this is demonstrated by the calibre of investors we are attracting to our region.”

Western Downs to become ‘Energy Capital of Australia’

Mr McVeigh added that solar power is a great example of adding diversity to the economy, and aligns with Council’s goal of becoming the ‘Energy Capital of Australia’.

He said the new project finally cements Western Downs’ reputation as a domestic and international leader in commercial solar power production.

Earlier this year, Western Downs also approved a 300 MW solar farm at Columboola. It will cover 540 hectares and generate an estimated 640,000 MW hours of electricity. That’s enough energy to power approximately 110,000 homes.

Consequently, 300 MW clean power station will avoid approximately 518,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

In addition to the jobs created during construction, five ongoing operational positions will also be created around the solar farm.