Solar farm generic
Solar farm generic

UPDATE: How Surat’s Basin energy projects are progressing

The Surat Basin energy region is home to many renewable and gas energy projects.

News Corp has inquired to a number of these projects to see how they are progressing and when they are expected to begin operation.

Here is where the energy projects in the Surat Basin are up to:

Gangarri Solar Farm

The solar project will be expected to produce 120mw, enough to power 50,000 homes.

Owners Shell QGC say that the project will reduce carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes every year.

Gangarri is located at Woleebee, west of Wandoan on the Western Downs.

According to their website, construction is expected to be completed by early 2021 and is supporting about 200 jobs.

Columboola Solar Farm

This 162mw project located near Miles is expected to cost $320 million and support 400 jobs.

It could power up to 100,000 homes and a number of universities such as Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and Central Queensland University.

According to their website, the project is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.

Blue Grass Solar Farm

Located 14km west of Chinchilla, this $200 million project could power up to 80,000 homes and support 400 jobs during construction.

Owned by X-Elio, It will connect to Powerlink’s existing network and will involve a new substation at Cameby.

Roadworks are already underway on the Warrego Highway, but construction of the solar farm is expected to begin early this year and be operational by 2022.

The Blue Grass Solar Farm could offset over 320,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Jimbour East Solar Farm

This Western Downs project north of Dalby has secured development approval, but an X-Elio spokeswoman said this project isn’t sufficiently mature in development to confirm costs or timelines.

Brigalow Solar Farm (Pittsworth)

Located in the Toowoomba Region, this $50m+ project is very close to overall completion.

The construction is finished and owners Impact Investment Group are finalising grid integration, a spokesman said.

It has been operational and producing emission-free energy since the second quarter of 2020 but will be fully completed early this year.

Coopers Gap Wind Farm

This ambitious project located on the western Bunya Mountains between Dalby and Kingaroy was completed in 2020.

All 123 wind turbines have been completed, however one windmill will need to be replaced after builders GE CATCON did an assessment on it.

“An extensive exclusion zone has been erected around the turbine to ensure high level of safety for the surroundings and neighbourhood,” an AGL spokeswoman said.

The new turbine is expected to be finished later this year.

Oakey Solar Farm Stage 2

News Corp was unable to gain any official information from this project’s developers.

It is believed the proposal will be 55mw, cost $83 million and support 120 jobs.

Western Downs Green Power Hub

This major project’s preliminary works began in December 2020, with construction being started in January this year.

A spokeswoman said it would be completed in approximately 12 months and be operational in 2022.

“Some minor road upgrade works at the cross section of Kogan-Condamine Road and 16 Mile Hall Road are underway & expected to be completed shortly,” the spokeswoman said.

It is estimated this project will cost $600 million and could support up to 400 jobs.

Dulacca Renewable Energy Project

This $350 million project on the Western Downs is will install 56 wind turbines and is currently going through the final contracting elements and financing.

A spokeswoman said construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year and will be completed and operational in the second quarter of 2023.

Chances Plain

The Chronicle reported in 2019 that Juwi Renewable Energy launched an appeal to the Planning and Environment Court after Western Downs Regional Council decided to reject the project.

The project would have been a 100mw solar farm outside of Chinchilla.

Wandoan South Solar Project

This project will incorporate both solar power and battery energy, with construction on the storage system having started in October 2020.

A Vena Energy spokesman said the battery will be brought online for their partner AGL later this year.

The first stage of the solar farm will begin after the battery is completed, subject to securing a power purchase agreement.

The spokesman did not give a solid cost for the project.

Warhook Solar Farm

Developer Engie was granted approval from Western Downs Regional Council in 2018, for the project east of Miles.

Their website says they’re currently processing their grid connection process, but it is unknown where this project is currently up to.

Daystar Energy Solar Farm

It has not been revealed how far this project is through development.

Chinchilla Solar Farm

According to the developer First Solar’s website, is has been expected that commercial operation of this project would begin at the start of this year.

It will provide enough energy for 40,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 200,000 tonnes.

Bulli Creek Solar Farm

Located 35km west of Millmerran, this 1200mw solar project will power a whopping 467,000 homes.

Developer First Solar’s website says development is meant to be finished in the first quarter of this year, but The Chronicle reports they’ve been given extra time for development.

“Given the size and scale of the development, it is considered reasonable to agree to extend the currency period for an additional five years for all stages of the development,” Toowoomba Regional Council planning officer Nadia McLeod said in 2020.

Edenvale and Ewerleigh solar farms

These two Western Downs projects are located on the Kogan-Condamine Road.

Preliminary estimates state these projects will be operational by February this year, but not much has been publicly revealed about the development or updates in the meantime.

Beelbee Solar Farm

This project from APA has the potential to generate up to 200mw and will be located near Dalby.

All the development approvals are in place and APA is now considering the needs of potential customers, but no construction date has been released yet.

Yarranlea Solar Farm

The solar farm near Pittsworth is now complete and connected to the grid.

the 100mw project was believed to have cost $240 million and supported 200 jobs.

It has already exported 82mw into the grid.

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