French renewable energy developer Neoen has received council planning approval for a solar farm of up to 500MW, along with battery storage, in south west Queensland.
The Western Downs green power hub is the second big project to be pursued by Neoen in Queensland, along with the Kaban renewable energy hub that will combine 160MW and battery storage near Cairns in the state’s north.
The Western Downs project is located 22km south of Chinchilla and 62km north west of Dalby. It consists of up to 1,500 hectares of ground mounted solar panels and 2 hectares of battery energy storage, which suggests storage of some considerable size.
The website says the project – at full size – would generate about 1.05 million megawatt hours (MWh) a year. It says the project could go ahead in the third quarter of this year, although Neoen now says a 2019 start date is more realistic.
“A combination of an ambitious Queensland Renewable Energy Target and a proactive government to meet those targets provide highly favourable conditions for renewable energy projects in the State,” Neoen says on the website.
“Consequently, the company will expedite the development of Western Downs Green Power Hub, as well as several other projects in Queensland.”
Neoen is also the owner of the 309MW Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia, along with the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery, now officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve.
It has so far completed two solar farms in NSW (Griffith and Parkes), is about to complete a solar facility at Dubbo, and is contracted to build a 150MW solar facility in Coleambally.
It is also building the Bulgana Renewable Energy Hub in Victoria, which combines a 192MW wind farm and another Tesla big battery – this time 20MW/34MWh.