Solar farm to bring jobs
THE Western Downs is on its way to becoming the energy capital of Australia.
That's the message from Mayor Paul McVeigh in the wake of council's approval of the largest solar project in the region, announced on Wednesday.
The 300-megawatt solar farm will be constructed by Luminous Energy between Miles and Chinchilla, creating 400 local jobs during construction and five ongoing operational positions.
"Luminous have said local businesses will certainly benefit. They'll be hiring local tradespersons and using local accommodation. They're very focused on using local resources, people and businesses as much as possible,” Cr McVeigh said.
"From application to approval, it has been around seven weeks, which is very quick. It's very exciting.
"It's putting the Western Downs on the map.
"We've got an unbelievable agricultural sector, we're very in resources, and now renewable energy, so that's just tremendous.
"Now with the introduction of the crossing upgrade, people are going to start coming this way more.
"It's great stuff.”
The solar farm is set to cover 540 hectares and is expected to take 18 months to construct, with the massive 300MW solar station having the capacity to power approximately 110,000 homes.
It is the fourth large-scale green, clean, renewable development to be approved by council for the region.