New solar farm approved for Western Downs town
WESTERN Downs Regional Council has approved a new solar farm to be built at Hopeland, its 11th solar farm approval in the past 28 months.
The 500 megawatt project by Neoen Australia called the Western Downs Green Power Hub, is expected to generate up to 400 jobs during construction, and five to 10 full-time staff for day-to-day operation.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the project was a collaborative effort.
"Council was really impressed with the standard of Neoen Australia's application and their respect for the community," Cr McVeigh said.
"Not only have they already undertaken consultation with surrounding landowners, but they plan to work with more community groups in the future to identify potential sites of significance.
"Renewable energy is an important part of our economy in the future and it often is a great low-impact industry that most in the community welcome.
"For Neoen to be on the same page and to respect these sensitivities shows their eagerness to work with our community to ensure the best outcomes for everyone involved."
Neoen Australia managing director Franck Woitiez said the company was committed to maintaining the cultural identity of the region, while driving the economy.
"The Western Downs region with its high sun exposure, robust network and positive council strategy makes it an ideal location for a solar farm and energy storage facility," he said.
"We are thrilled to be advancing the development of the Western Downs Green Power Hub, which we believe will bring significant economic benefits and job creation."