Three separate solar projects which range in size from five megawatts to 80MW are under construction in the rural Queensland towns of Oakey, Normanton and Longreach.
Canadian Solar Australia is currently constructing the three projects.
The Oakey Solar Farm is an 80MW two-stage project being built on a local family farm outside of Oakeypanels that will generate enough electricity to power 24,000 homes.
Stage one of the project, a 25MW solar farm that is currently under construction, received $2.2 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and will include about 90,000 individual solar The Normanton Solar Farm is being built on an ex-grazing property in Normanton, Queensland in conjunction with Scouller Energy. The five megawatt solar farm is a fringe-of-grid solar plant that is designed to ensure more reliable and affordable energy for the Normanton area while demonstrating how such a project can be of benefit to other rural communities.
The Longreach Solar Farm is a 15MW solar project being built just outside of Longreach, Queensland. The project will use more than 54,000 solar panels to generate 39.1GWh of electricity per year, which is enough to power 5,000 homes.
The projects are also putting a new spin on traditional farming in Australia by creating alternative opportunities for present and future generations on the land. Toowoomba Regional Councillor Carol Taylor praised the Oakey Solar Farm as an opportunity to “inspire young people to continue on the land” by providing new ways to utilise farm land and creating new jobs.
Canadian Solar’s three projects in Queensland highlight the potential for solar energy to provide security for communities. Through close partnerships with local residents, businesses and stakeholders, solar farms can bring fresh opportunities and growth to regional areas and foster a brighter future.