The Queensland Government has commissioned a $29 million solar farm in Longreach, taking it a step closer to becoming Australia’s solar state.

Longreach Member for Bancroft, Chris Whiting, said “The Longreach solar farm is being progressively commissioned and is operating at 50 per cent capacity, exporting seven megawatts of power into the Ergon Energy grid.

“When fully operational it will power around 5000 homes.”

The solar farm was developed by company Canadian Solar and is the latest project to benefit from Queensland’s Solar150 program.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Solar150 program is now paying dividends, with Canadian Solar’s project being one of the first commissioned to come online to the national electricity market,” Mr Whiting said.

Queensland’s Solar150 program aims to drive significant growth in renewable energy investment by supporting up to 150MW of solar power generation in the state.

“The Solar150 program was designed to help kick-start the state’s solar investment boom by providing long-term revenue certainty, giving proponents including Canadian Solar a 20-year revenue guarantee,” Mr Whiting said.

Canadian Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Shawn Qu, said the Longreach project would be followed by the commercial operation of the two-stage Oakey Solar Farm with the first stage expected for completion in August 2018.

“Canadian Solar is looking forward to further contributing to the growth of solar energy in Queensland off the back of the great success we have already seen in our solar projects, like the Longreach solar farm and the Oakey solar farm.” Dr Qu said.

Mr Whiting said Canadian Solar was making a major investment and contribution to the State’s solar boom.

There are 56 large-scale solar projects currently in the approvals or construction process in Queensland. 

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