Another 162MW solar farm gets connection approval in Queensland

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Powerlink approves connection deal for 162MW solar farm in Queensland’s western downs region.

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The Queensland state government has announced that another solar farm has received connection approval, this time the 162MW Columboola solar project near Miles in the south-west of the state.

The project is being developed by Luminous Energy, although it was first proposed in early 2017 as a 300MW sized facility. The company did not return calls to explain the difference in size, but it may be due to available network capacity in the region.

In a statement, state energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the solar farm would provide up to 400 construction jobs and the expansion of the Columboola sub-station and transmission line works would support another 17 jobs. There would be five permanent jobs once the solar farm was completed in 2021.

“Our state’s renewable revolution is full steam ahead with almost 2400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity now operating, and another 250 MW underway or committed,” Lynham said.

“We already have 30 solar farms, and more than 560,000 Queensland roofs sporting solar systems, with combined generation capacity of more than 4000 megawatts.”

Powerlink Interim Chief Executive Kev Kehl said the connection project involved works at Powerlink’s existing Columboola Substation and construction of almost two kilometres of transmission line.

“We have been partnering with the Luminous Energy project team over an extensive period of time to optimise their connection,” Kehl said, adding the company has facilitated 13 connections for large-scale renewable projects across Queensland, representing more than 1,600MW of potential generation.

Luminous Energy CEO Jolyon Orchard said the project will contribute to the Queensland Government’s goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Construction of the project’s transmission assets is due to start by April 2020.

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