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Solar Farm approval powers a bright future for clean energy

27 January 2016

Mayor Ray Brown speaks to WIN News about the significant benefits the proposed Origin Energy Darling Downs Solar Farm will bring to the region.

Mayor Ray Brown speaks to WIN News about the significant benefits the proposed Origin Energy Darling Downs Solar Farm will bring to the region

Council’s recent approval to establish a Solar Farm at Kogan is a remarkable example of co-existence and the diverse capabilities of our region whilst reinforcing the Western Downs as an advocate for renewable energy and a front-runner for securing alternative power solutions for our future.

  • Located at Grahams Road, Kogan, the 402 hectares of rural zoned land which is predominately utilised for cattle grazing also contains coal seam gas infrastructure including extraction wells and a high pressure gas pipeline;
  • With a footprint of up to 200ha, the development is conditioned to occur sequentially over 2 stages;
  • Stage 1 will involve the construction of up to 15ha of a 15 MW solar farm and a Stage 1 substation, as well as administration and support facilities;
  • Stage 2 will involve the development of the balance of the site and the Stage 2 substation;
  • It is estimated that between approximately 630,000 and 2.3 million panels will be installed depending on the type of technology used for the panels;
  • The overall development will equate to a potential peak power generation capacity of up to 200MW depending on the current panel efficiencies (the equivalent of powering up to 32,800 homes);
  • Due to neighbouring power infrastructure, the solar farm has a range of options for connection into the national electricity grid with connection into the Darling Downs Power Station, Ergon distribution power lines bordering the property and the Powerlink transmission network;
  • The Origin Energy Darling Downs Solar Farm was recently short-listed for $100 million in Federal Government funding through an initiative supporting large-scale solar projects nationwide.

Council Spokesperson for Planning Councillor Ray Jamieson said that the proposed development fulfilled the strategic direction of the Amended Draft Western Downs Planning Scheme by minimising dependence on fossil fuels and promoting, where practicable, the generation of energy through renewable sources.

“Through the assessment process, the development was identified as being compatible with adjoining land uses with the area emerging as a hub for major power infrastructure,” he said.

“In the early stages of the development application process Council recognised the Origin Energy Solar Farm development project as a desirable special industry for our region in line with the strategic direction of the Amended Draft Western Downs Planning Scheme.”

Mayor Ray Brown said the proposed development highlights the diverse capabilities of the Western Downs and will create significant benefits for our region.

“The development is a great example of how Council is working to support the creation of development synergies in our region, as well as meet the future needs of our communities,” he said.

“The recent announcement from the Turnbull Government identifying this project on the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) short-list is extremely exciting for the future of this project. To secure funding of this magnitude would be a significant step closer to this development becoming a reality and the multitude of benefits for our region.”

For more information contact Council on 1300 COUNCIL.

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