Proposed CQ solar farm to create 150 jobs, power mine site
A proposal for a 90MW renewable energy facility near Comet has been submitted to council, with the development to power surrounding mining activities and create up to 150 jobs.
According to the development application, the solar farm, to be built on 992.7ha of land at Duckponds Rd, about 3km east of Emerald, will deliver renewable energy to satisfy part of the Ensham Mine's operational energy requirements.
The proposed solar farm will consist of an arrangement of photovoltaic panels placed on single access trackers, associated electrical equipment including transformers, cables, inverters, and substation, transmission line, ancillary equipment and future battery storage.
The application was made on behalf of Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd to Central Highlands Regional Council.
The land for the proposed site, owned by Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd, Bligh Coal Limited and Bowen Investment (Australia) Pty Ltd, is mostly free of vegetation, and only has one neighbouring residence located about 2.8km to the north.
Ensham Mine is located to the east of the site, with rural land to the south and west used for agricultural purposes.
Due to the adjacent mining activities, the land is considered to be unsuitable for other uses such as agriculture or dwellings.
Idemitsu Australia Resources is seeking an unlimited lifespan for the solar farm, as the mine will be dependent on it.
The proposed solar farm will have a total output of about 90MW, the report states, which is to be delivered over three stages.
• Stage 1: Establishment of 20MW solar farm
• Stage 2: Expansion of existing solar farm to add an extra 35MW
• Stage 3: Further expansion to provide an additional 35MW
The development is expected to create up to 150 jobs during the construction period.