THE REGION'S solar boom continued this week, with the approval of a 250MW solar farm west of Toowoomba.
Western Downs Regional Council has given the green light to the project, located 23km south-east of Chinchilla near the Kogan Creek Power Station, making it the 10th solar farm approved in the last 20 months.
The project is expected to generate 300 full time jobs during the construction phase and between two and four full time jobs during the operational phase.
The solar plant is a joint project between Yellow Solar and Tilt Renewables.
The approval comes off the back of Tuesday's news of a 240MW solar farm west of Dalby.
Director of Yellow Solar, Matt Buchanan, said the Western Downs was an ideal location for the development.
"We chose the Western Downs because of its excellent infrastructure and the efficient working environment," he said.
"Solar provides a diversity of employment and adds a new range of projects to diversify the already strong Surat Basin energy hub."
General Manager Tilt Renewables Pty Ltd Renewable Development Clayton Delmarter said he was pleased to receive the approval for the Western Downs Solar Farm.
"We are delighted to secure our first planning approval for a solar project in Queensland," Mr Delmarter said.
"This approval will provide us with a solid foundation for our plans to expand our development activity into Queensland and the solar sector," he said.
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.
"Solar energy is a great example of adding diversity to our strong economy, which complements the pillars of agriculture, intensive agriculture, manufacturing and energy."
While the renewables boom in the Western Downs has been hailed as a success story by council and developers alike, residents have repeatedly expressed concern about council's lack of consultation when it comes to processing development applications for solar farms.
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