$200 million project transforming Pittsworth region
A $200 million project is set to transform a rural area near Pittsworth, bringing new jobs to the region.
Yarranlea Solar is a utility-scale photovoltaic solar plant planned about 45km away from Toowoomba.
It will have the potential to generate about 100MW of electricity, powering 32,000 homes and contributing to the Australian government's climate policy.
It will take about one year to construct and will include a 1.8ha vegetation buffer to the perimeter of the site, an electrical substation and 400,000 solar panels on mounting structures across the site.
It is designed to produce electricity for about 30 years.
About 200 construction jobs will be created and five full time positions during operation.
Director Nick Canto said there were employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labourers.
He said an information bulletin had been produced to put planning and study documents in the public domain.
An application was lodged with Toowoomba Regional Council in July this year Mr Canto said he hoped approval would be granted early next year.
Mr Canto, who hails from Texas and was educated in Toowoomba, said further documents had been submitted recently to the council as a response to information requests and issues raised by the public.
He said the industry had been buoyed by the government's commitment to renewable energy and the cost-effectiveness of solar power generation.
The Yarranlea Solar project did not win support from a recent round of government funding, but Mr Canto said it was not needed.
Mr Canto said he envisioned about eight major solar farms would be built on the Darling Downs, citing a lack of capacity and demand for further developments.
With approval, construction could start by July next year.