Newly funded solar plants to create 500 direct jobs in Queensland

Sophia Rostron   |   September 12, 2016

More Queensland projects have been chosen as part of the latest Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) funding round than any other Australian state, with six large-scale solar generation plants to be built in regional Queensland. 

Five plants in New South Wales, and one plant in Western Australia has also been slated for funding. All twelve solar farms expected to triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW, providing enough energy to power 150,000 average Australian homes and deliver one tenth of the new capacity required to meet Australia’s 2020 renewable energy target.

According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland projects are expected to provide "300 megawatts of renewable energy generation capacity as well as boost investment by $500 million and create more than 500 direct jobs and hundreds more indirect jobs in regional Queensland." 


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The largest solar farm in Australia will now be located on the Darling Downs, with The Whitsunday, Kidston, Oakey and Longreach Solar Farms also successful in securing State Government support through long-term revenue contracts. 

Applicant Project name Size
ARENA funding Total project cost Nearest town
Origin Energy Darling Downs Solar Farm 110.0 $20 m $216.7 m Dalby, QLD, QLD
Edify Energy with Solar Choice Whitsunday Solar Farm 58.1 $9.5 m $122.4 m Collinsville, QLD, QLD
Genex Power Kidston Solar Farm 50.0 $8.9 m $126.2 m Kidston, QLD
RATCH Australia Corporation Collinsville Solar Power Station 42.0 $9.5m  $95.9 m  Collinsville, QLD
Canadian Solar (Australia)  Oakey Solar Farm 25.0 $2.2 m $47.5 M  Oakey, QLD, QLD
Canadian Solar (Australia)  Longreach Solar Farm 15.0 $1.3 m  $28.7 m  Longreach, QLD, QLD


$51.4 m $637.4 m  

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said construction could start and finish as early as next year. 

“It is now up to successful companies to deliver these projects in line with ARENA’s requirements, which could see all plants built by the end of next year. This is an aggressive timetable to lock in financing, off take arrangements, connection agreements and required approvals," said Mr Frischknecht. 

“The projects delivered through the ARENA funding round will build on current expertise and generate new knowledge for the burgeoning large-scale solar sector including co-location of solar and wind.

“Australia’s big solar revolution is tantalisingly close and, as more home-grown businesses step up to provide construction, engineering and financial services, this newest tranche of ARENA-supported projects is well positioned to take the sector even closer to commerciality.”

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Source:Qld Govt, ARENA

Sophia Rostron
As the Content editor at Felix (formerly PlantMiner), Sophia works behind the scenes to keep our blog machine in motion. A student of Law and Business, she's very dependent on coffee and loves any excuse to travel.

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