Global energy and infrastructure business Acciona Energy has been selected to develop, finance, construct and operate a $500 million solar farm at Aldoga in Queensland.
The business has signed a 30-year Agreement for Lease with the Queensland Government to transform 1250 hectares of state-owned land for the project.
The Aldoga solar plans will connect to the grid via Powerlink’s Larcom Creek substation.
Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said in a statement that the signing of the Agreement for Lease signalled the start of a project that will generate renewable energy and boost the local economy.
“At maximum capacity, up to 265 megawatts (AC), will deliver the equivalent amount of energy needed to supply up to 122,000 households, which is around five times the number of households in Gladstone,” Mr. Dick said.
“This invaluable project will support up to 240 construction jobs and 10 ongoing jobs, and better yet, the company will adopt Buy Queensland and Gladstone Buy Local procurement policies, giving preference to local sub-contractors and manufacturers.”
As part of the lease agreements, Acciona Energy will also establish a community benefits fund of between $50,000 to $120,000 per year, which Mr. Dick said represents between $1.5 million to $3.6 million over the 30-year lease, to be provided to local clubs, associations and community groups in the region.
Acciona Energy will now undertake a feasibility study and development approvals.
“This could take around 12 months, meaning construction may begin in the second half of next year, and electricity generation in the second half of 2020,” Mr. Dick said.
According to the statement from the Queensland Government, five large-scale solar projects have commenced operation in the past 18 months, bringing the total operational capacity of renewable energy in the state to more than 780 megawatts.
Another 23 large-scale projects, totalling 2,200 megawatts, are currently financially committed or under construction.